Vocab at the Movies: The Social Network

Jen Dziura —  April 10, 2012

In our Vocab at the Movies posts, we write about movies with GRE vocab in the titles themselves (Insidious, Sanctum), movies in which vocab words play prominently (the “Derelicte!” fashion line in Zoolander, Flotsam and Jetsam in The Little Mermaid), and movies that just remind us of certain vocab words.

Check out this epic scene from The Social Network:

Gage: Mr. Zuckerberg, do I have your full attention?
Mark Zuckerberg: [stares out the window] No.
Gage: Do you think I deserve it?
Mark Zuckerberg: [looks at Gage] What?
Gage: Do you think I deserve your full attention?
Mark Zuckerberg: I had to swear an oath before we began this deposition, and I don’t want to perjure myself, so I have a legal obligation to say no.
Gage: Okay – no. You don’t think I deserve your attention.
Mark Zuckerberg: I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try – but there’s no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention – you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.
[pauses]
Mark Zuckerberg: Did I adequately answer your condescending question?

Oh, snap!

Here are a few Zuckerberg-worthy GRE words:

Hubris: Excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance. (Adjective: hubristic)

Overweening: presumptuously conceited, overconfident, or proud.

Overweening can be used alone (No one wants to spend time around a fellow as obnoxious and overweening as he), but is often used to intensify a word like pride, as in:

“As he matured, the overweening pride of youth gave way to a more nuanced set of interactions with the world.”

Insolence: Contemptuously rude or impertinent behavior or speech.

Impertinent? Doesn’t that mean not relevant? Well, it can, but that’s not how we’re using it here:

Impertinent: 1. intrusive or presumptuous, as persons or their actions; insolently rude; uncivil: a brash, impertinent youth. 2. not pertinent or relevant; irrelevant

The connection between the two meanings of impertinent is a root for not belonging. So, just as an entire page on how to make hollandaise sauce doesn’t belong in your English paper on Moby Dick, certain types of behavior — especially when practiced by a subordinate towards a person in authority — also simply don’t belong.

(Er, we hope this post captured the “minimum amount” of your attention.)

Jen Dziura

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