Monday, May 11, 2009

Kiss Me Cliche

I know that titles get re-used all the time. But it seems to me that one title to stay away from would be one that is pretty much unique, and very well known--unless you are deliberately alluding to the former famous work. And in any sane universe Kiss Me Deadly is a famous work, both as a novel and as a movie.

And yet this poor title has been subjected not only to association with one of the lowest grossing movies of all time, but also a totally non-noir (despite what the blurb might lead you to believe) Harlequin novel.

English is a large and evocative language, even when limiting one's self to phrases of no more than three words. It would be nice if people tried a little harder. Otherwise I am left to wonder whether they are hoping to make a few "accidental" sales, or so deficient in both literary and cinematic knowledge that they don't even know why that phrase felt a little familiar to them?


Anonymous said...

There is also a song by the same title sung by Lita Ford which was popular in the late 1980s.

Shannon Stacey said...

I have a book titled "Kiss Me Deadly" with Samhain. Since I associate the phrase with the Lita Ford song, I must be sadly deficient in my knowledge of both literary and cinema.

After all, if some people consider a noir film made almost twenty years before I was born a classic, I must be deficient not to have heard of it.

Anonymous said...

I always google potential titles before I use them. If it has too many hits for various things, books, software, movies, etc, I don't use it.

Fae said...

I admit it. I didn't know it was a novel or a movie and have no real knowledge of who Mickey Spillane is/was.

I do, however, know who Lita Ford is and that title is hers as far as this former Headbanger is concerned. I also know what Google is. Does no one else google titles as they're coming up with them? I do. If a title sounds just right for a book I'm writing, I google it and see what else it's attached to, if anything. If it's attached to a book, no matter who the author, it's a no. If it's attached to a movie I'm more lenient, depending on the popularity of said movie.

Google is your friend, folks.

Elle Parker said...

Not ONLY do I Google potential book titles, but I Google all my character's names too - you never know what kind of weird associations you might be inadvertantly tripping over

Elle Parker

Keira Gillett said...

Haha! Lowest grossing film, indeed.

Perhaps we need a new Kiss Me title.

3 Off the Top of my head:

Kiss Me, Muchly
Kiss Me, Lower
Kiss Me, Fatally

Last one spices up the Deadly bit.

Treva Harte said...

Kiss Me 'Til I Die

roslynholcomb said...

Interesting. I never thought to google any of my book titles, though I know at least one of them is a classic song. Another one was an old Jackie Collins book, but so generic I didn't think anyone would ever confuse the two. My titles tend to be fairly generic (not my strong suit), or in some way inspired by music.

K. Z. Snow said...

There are all sorts of moronic titles floating around. It's just part of the popular-culture bag. I don't pay much attention to them -- unless they're really orginal and/or give me a good laugh!