Hardboiled P.I. + Grammar = Instant Cuteness

The [hotel] clerk snapped at Degarmo’s back like a terrier.

“One moment, please. Whom did you wish to see?”

Degarmo spun on his heel and looked at me wonderingly. “Did he say ‘whom’?”

“Yeah, but don’t hit him,” I said. “There is such a word.”

Degarmo licked his lips. “I knew there was,” he said. “I often wondered where they kept it.”

from The Lady in the Lake, 1943, by Raymond Chandler

4 thoughts on “Hardboiled P.I. + Grammar = Instant Cuteness

    1. Ha ha, well, I guess if I can read Homer, I can read Chandler …

      Seriously, you are right that some of the bon mots in his books have aged so much that rather than being clever, they are just confusing. But others are still spot-on.

      It is fun entering the original noir world of the 1940s. I picked up a Chandler compendium at the library because Andrew Klavan cut his teeth on him.


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