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..use a grainy photograph of money at play Options
papo_308
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 3:23:04 PM
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Joined: 3/29/2012
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Location: Velké Meziříčí, Vysocina, Czech Republic
Hi all,
after some time, I'm back here with a question:

Here's an excerpt from Lee Child's Killing Floor:

He was a tall white man. He looked like a page from a magazine. An advertisement. The sort that uses a grainy photograph of money at play. He was in his early thirties.....

Can you please tell me what the phrase in bold really means?

I found the question some time ago somewhere, but it wasn't answered satisfactorily.

Thank you.



FounDit
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 3:52:26 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
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papo_308 wrote:
Hi all,
after some time, I'm back here with a question:

Here's an excerpt from Lee Child's Killing Floor:

He was a tall white man. He looked like a page from a magazine. An advertisement. The sort that uses a grainy photograph of money at play. He was in his early thirties.....

Can you please tell me what the phrase in bold really means?

I found the question some time ago somewhere, but it wasn't answered satisfactorily.

Thank you.

I can only guess, but it sounds like the man resembled the photograph of a person with a weathered appearance, much like money after it has been in circulation for a while.

Perhaps something like this:


Romany
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 4:32:53 PM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

"Money At Play" is a shortened way of saying "What people who have lots of money do for recreation."

So the man looked glamorous and wealthy. He looked like the kind of person one would see in Society magazines which have unposed photos of the rich and famous caught entertaining themselves.
FounDit
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 6:24:36 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,432
Neurons: 68,660
Romany wrote:

"Money At Play" is a shortened way of saying "What people who have lots of money do for recreation."

So the man looked glamorous and wealthy. He looked like the kind of person one would see in Society magazines which have unposed photos of the rich and famous caught entertaining themselves.


I've never heard this expression before, so your explanation fits better than mine, although why the photo has to be grainy, I don't understand.
Romany
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 7:01:28 PM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

I expect it was because, back then, much of the film taken at night, or in 'seedy joints', would be of poor quality. Unlike the sharp, "magazine image" these kinds of people usually present to the public.

I can't say I've ever heard that particular phrase before. But it's a familiar device in certain kinds of journalism. Kind of like "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous". You have to provide/write/read an article with a hook, and the best hooks are variations on Royals At Play, or Politicians at Play or for many just the rich. Doing anything = Money at Play.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 2:20:16 AM

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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
Romany wrote:

I expect it was because, back then, much of the film taken at night, or in 'seedy joints', would be of poor quality. Unlike the sharp, "magazine image" these kinds of people usually present to the public.

I can't say I've ever heard that particular phrase before. But it's a familiar device in certain kinds of journalism. Kind of like "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous". You have to provide/write/read an article with a hook, and the best hooks are variations on Royals At Play, or Politicians at Play or for many just the rich. Doing anything = Money at Play.


It’s not really a ” back then” issue despite the fact the Jack Reacher stories are about an American ex-military policeman, they are written by a contemporary British Author and set in the present day (more or less).

Although he was probably in an unconscious manner copying the style of older noir thrillers, but it may be that the image of “money at play” is a British one.
papo_308
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 2:32:41 PM
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Joined: 3/29/2012
Posts: 1,127
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Location: Velké Meziříčí, Vysocina, Czech Republic
Many thanks to FounDit, Sarriesfan and especially to Romany for the fitting explanation.

IMHO, ads could also use grain in the photographs on purpose, to create whatever effect the authors think it should create.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2019 5:51:44 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,686
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

As I said, I don't think it's an established phrase, just a way of describing a particular genre of press pics.

And I wouldn't say it was a British one. Photographs of rich people doing things sell millions of newspapers and magazines from Mumbai to Manhattan!
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