Dear Robert Riskin,

The witty banter you contributed to so many of Capra’s films was inimitable, but I would like to thank you especially for coining the word “doodler.” Before you used the word in your screenplay for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, “scribbler” and “sketcher” had to suffice to describe “people who make foolish designs on paper when they’re thinking,” but those terms do not quite convey the right sentiment. Without your definition, Google Doodles would be bereft of its catchy assonance, and Doodle Buddy would be called “Sketch Buddy,” which just sounds suspicious. As Longfellow Deeds points out, doodling is simultaneously goofy and innocuous, so your silly-sounding word is perfect for such a silly-looking activity. Well put.

Good night, Mun

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