Credits where credits are due

My first semester at university, when my Writing Through Media instructor (the very drunkest teacher I ever had) introduced the idea of the third meaning, I never thought to ask if it counts if you’re seeing third meanings in the credits.

At the beginning of every episode of Vikings, the first card that pops up reads, “HISTORY and METRO GOLDWYN MAYER present”.  And always I read “HISTORY” as referring not to the TV channel/production company that used to go by the name the History Channel, but rather to history, the last six thousand years of human society and culture.

“HISTORY and METRO GOLDWYN MAYER present VIKINGS” reads to me like, “Metro Goldwyn Mayer is about to put Vikings on your screen, made possible by their actual existence a thousand years ago.”  It’s basically the same as if the title card said, “PARAMOUNT PICTURES and GEOLOGY present A VOLCANIC ERUPTION”.

I

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