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Why does Hugh specifically say that he didn't say “brain” to the crew in this scene?

In the movie Life (2017), Calvin (the Martian) started growing in front of Hugh while under observation, so Hugh said to the rest of the crew:

The specimen's cells have begun to move together en masse as a unit. They're also sharing electrical activity in what resembles a growing neural network. Notice I didn't say "brain".

Why does he want to differentiate between "brain" and "neural network"?

What point is he trying to make?

I already tried ELL & Movies SE, but the community has closed both as off topic.

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    closed in Movies & TV? what is the reason they said? Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 13:10
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    This is unlikely to fly anywhere as it's an opinion based question and we don't do those. Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 13:14
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    There's a chance that it can be re-worded to fit ELL, by removing the stuff related to the movie and leaving only something like "What is the difference between a brain and neural network?". Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 13:30
  • @ShadowWizard can you edit it to proper so i will approve edits. question is here it already got 3 close votes.
    – The Hawk
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 13:32
  • Did my best, hope it's enough. Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 13:39
  • you did amazing, let us see what are the results; i mean retracting close votes etc.
    – The Hawk
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 13:43
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    I'm surprised it was closed on Movies, perhaps their policies have changed. Questions like that have not been poorly received in the past (a, b).
    – Jason C
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 15:14
  • Well, looks like @Robert is right, I'm afraid you'll have to find a different place to ask this. Sorry, and good luck! Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 21:07
  • What was the close reason on Movies.SE?
    – jscs
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 21:17

3 Answers 3

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You didn't ask the same question on the two sites. You asked an English question on M&TV and then you asked a plot interpretation question on ELL.

You asked a question about how to interpret "Notice I didn't say brain." when they hadn't said brain before... this is a question about English usage. What it means when you use this "notice I didn't say _____" format is the same regardless of the context.

Original question: (deleted)

why Hugh specifically says he didn't say "brain" to the crew in this scene?
In Life (2017), Calvin (martian species) started growing infront of Hugh observation, so Hugh say this words to crew:

The specimen's cells have begun to move together en masse as a unit. They're also sharing electrical activity in what resembles a growing neural network. Notice I didn't say "brain".

Hugh never mentioned brain in previous sentence, then why he what to notice about not saying it?

This question is asking to understand the English language. No knowledge of the film is required to understand what is being said.

This question was edited (likely in an attempt to make it on topic), and then you asked that edited question on ELL... at which point it was off topic there because it was asking for details that rely on the plot of the film.


Really, if you want to understand the difference between a neural network and a brain, that may be better addressed on Biology... but please do some research and try to understand it yourself first and check their site scope to see if this fits.

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  • Well, I tried to edit is on ELL and make the part about the movie only minor background, it didn't work. Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 6:47
  • This is useful feedback, but this Meta question is about where the question can be asked. Do you know why the question was deleted on Movies.SE? Are you suggesting that the edited form was in fact appropriate for that site?
    – jscs
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 12:04
  • @JoshCaswell the op deleted it. The correct version of the question may have been fine on either site.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 14:52
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A question about understanding a movie plot should be posted on Movies & TV. It is difficult to determine why your question was initially rejected, as you have also deleted it1. However, others with the reputation to view deleted questions on that exchange report that your question asked about the English meaning, rather than the plot.

I feel the issue, here, is in being able to convey your intentions. You have several more movie plot questions that have been closed, for example, simply because you forgot to include the question in the actual body. You have a couple of additional questions that were closed as too trivial; that is, they were not at all relevant to the story. That does not seem to be an issue, here, given that your specifically asking about the dialogue.


I also note, from your post, that you are not a native English speaker. There is nothing wrong with that, and props for learning another language; especially one as bastardised as the English language. However, this might shed light on further misinterpretation. Users may more easily default a lack of complete understanding to infer that you are asking for the English meaning of the dialogue — not for the plot explanation. In my experience, such cases should be treated with a friendly edit, but may very well lead to an unjust closure. Here is an edit to your original question, as I would pose it:

In the movie Life (2017), the martian species "Calvin" started growing in front of Hugh. Hugh says these words to the crew:

"The specimen's cells have begun to move together en masse as a unit. They're also sharing electrical activity in what resembles a growing neural network. Notice I didn't say "brain"."

Why does Hugh specifically say that he did not say "brain"?

I still have some hesitation, in regards to questioning the trivial nature of this question. On the surface, it does not seem like the particular dialogue actually serves the plot. That said, I have not seen the movie. I could very easily be wrong. That said, if such a question was closed as "too trivial", that would also answer my question — he says it simply because that is the particular order of words he chooses to use in conveying his thoughts; and it should not be used as a direct quote for analysing the actual plot of the movie.


All things said and done, you should probably ask for a more in-depth explanation for the original close, over at the Movies & TV Meta site. It is clear why the question was closed (being interpreted as an "English learners" question); but you have a greater chance to elicit actual change, in order to reopen your question, and have it answered.

1 We often gain a greater insight from the comments, and the actual close reason that was used.

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Worded the right way, it might be a good fit for Biology.

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