This could just be literary history repeating itself. Or, maybe Sheila R Lawrence and Henry Alonso Myers, writers of Ugly Betty episode 2.13 (A Thousand Words By Friday) have been reading Jane Austen.
If you’ll remember, in episode 2.13, Betty thought she was going to interview Phillip Roth, a distinguished and accomplished author. Instead she interviewed “Phil Roth”, author of the book “Tap That (How To Score With Hot B*tches)”. Roth’s methodology was to insult the target woman (starting with a slight praise), then ignore her till she begged for attention. For example, when Henry was trying out the method, he said to a woman at a bar, “You have a lovely face. Your doctor did an excellent job.”
Well, Seth Roberts has found an interesting parallel in Jane Austen’s writing. Roberts, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, gives these two excerpts from Austen’s Northanger Abbey:
“I have sometimes thought,” said Catherine, doubtingly, “whether ladies do write so much better letters than gentlemen! That is — I should not think the superiority was always on our side.”
“As far as I have had opportunity of judging, it appears to me that the usual style of letter-writing among women is faultless, except in three particulars.”
“And what are they?”
“A general deficiency of subject, a total inattention to stops, and a very frequent ignorance of grammar.”
I can almost see Henry saying this. And then:
“And pray, sir, what do you think of Miss Morland’s gown?”
“It is very pretty, madam,” said he, gravely examining it; “but I do not think it will wash well; I am afraid it will fray.”
Change the language a little bit, and you can almost see Gio giving this line.
I just think it’s pretty funny to think that the greasy Phil Roth might have read Jane Austen.