Bated or Baited Breath?

Do you ever wonder how you survived without Google? I do, daily. A couple of days ago as I wrote my thoughts on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I included the phrase “with baited breath.”

I looked at the phrase more than once, squinting my eyes to discern if that, indeed, was the proper way to say someone was waiting in great suspense for something to happen. On one hand, it seemed right. Bait, meaning something that entices, could perhaps suit my purposes, but it seemed like an ill-fitting puzzle piece when I examined it with eyes wide open.

This appeared to be a job for Google.

I typed in, “Is it bated or baited breath?”

Then I waited (with either bated or baited breath) for fewer than two seconds:

Bated breath vs baited breath. Bated breath is a phrase that means to hold one’s breath due to suspense, trepidation or fear. Bated breath is a phrase first mentioned in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. The word bated is an abbreviation of the word abated, meaning to lessen in severity or amount.

Who knew that bated was short for abated? Maybe everyone but me. Shouldn’t it be shown with an apostrophebated, to indicate it’s been abbreviated?

At any rate, I changed my text to show that Quentin Tarantino was most likely waiting with bated breath for my approval. Now I just need to find a way to use baited breath. How about, “Simon was the consummate fisherman. He always had the best results after eating worms for breakfast. It seems the bass were fond of his baited breath.”

But Pinterest had a better one.

Technology is good.

Peace, people.

Thoughts on “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Just between you and me, I’m the last person you want writing a review. My head is easily turned by attractive faces, and this film has plenty of those. But, with the exception of Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Sharon Tate, most of the pretty people are viewed through a layer of grit.

Undoubtedly, though, Brad Pitt, as rough and tumble stunt double, Cliff Booth, is still so handsome that he makes me stutter when asking Studly Doright for some, “p-p-popc-c-corn.” And Leonardo DiCaprio manages to retain his boyish good looks underneath the seedy B actor character, Rick Dalton.

So, as you can see, these three make it impossible for me to provide an unbiased review of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I can provide you with some vaguely coherent thoughts, though.

  • Brad Pitt’s performance is perfection. As pretty as he is, heaven knows he could’ve “phoned in” a few performances in his career, but he always seems to bring his A+ game. Okay, maybe his prettiness got to me, but if you’ve seen the movie, let me know what you think.
  • Typical Quentin Tarantino film–could’ve been thirty minutes shorter with no problem. Having said that, he’s a storyteller, and I appreciate that.
  • Parts of the film are graphically violent. Again, Typical Tarantino.
  • I knew Dakota Fanning was in the film, but could never figure out who she was. After I googled the cast this morning and discovered which role she played, I was blown away. She was chillingly low key.
  • I didn’t want to see this film, but have to admit to liking it anyway. Studly Doright is now crowing, “I told you so!”
  • Having read everything I could get my hands on about the Manson family and the Tate-LaBianca murders as a teenager, I was curious to see how the reality of the actual events would play out in this work of fiction.
  • In reference to my last comment–Liberties were taken. I approve. Yes, I’m sure Mr. Tarantino was waiting with bated breath for my thumbs up on the film.
  • The soundtrack is groovy. I dig the Mamas and the Papas….
  • Luke Perry was in this film. I cried a bit when I realized it had to have been his final role before he suffered a stroke earlier this year.
  • Lots of stars playing bit parts. That always makes me smile.
  • I wouldn’t mind seeing this movie again, especially since I had to take a bathroom break during one scene that turned out to have some impact on the ending.
  • The actress, Rachel Redleaf, who played Mama Cass Elliott never uttered a line, but sure channeled the essence of perhaps the greatest rock voice of my youth.

I have more thoughts, but they’re becoming less coherent as I go. One suggestion, though. Don’t see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and then go to bed without letting it drift away a bit. My dreams were full of weird 60’s type imagery, and no, I don’t do acid.

Peace, people.