In English Romantic Comedy movie Serendipity (2001), Jonathan Trager, Salesman & his friend Dane searching the information of Sara Thomas. Jonathan Trager has account number of her shopping bill. so Three went to storage facility in Queens to find her number or address. They somehow find carbon copy of the customer Sara in this facility, but improper handling of the copy which made them impossible to read details on it.

Salesman: When he grabbed it,his thumb went right across the right across the name. Completely. I'm kidding. It was smudged in my hand.

Salesman words made Dane angry started to fight, so Jonathan trying to stop him:

Jonathan: Would you stop it?

Salesman: It's just a little joke. That's carbon paper for you. I guess that's why America rejected it.

I didn't understand Salesman's words here about America & carbon paper.

  • 4
    Your paragraph is hard to understand. But, basically, the guy is saying that America rejected carbon paper (which was used to make copies of documents that had been typed on typewriters) because it smudged easily. Smudge means the ink became all fuzzy. Of course, America never "rejected" carbon paper. People stopped using it because copy machines were invented... – Lambie Jul 5 '17 at 12:36
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks for literary interpretation in context, and is not about learning English. – user3169 Jul 5 '17 at 19:27

My two cents!

Carbon paper is a sheet coated with a carbon black layer called soot and wax. As a kid I always hated it as it would leave a lot of ink impression on my hands. Even the slightest touch would get my hand inked! Of course, there was no any other cheaper option then!

As Lambie said in that comment, America never 'rejected' a carbon paper. Nor did any other country!

If carbon copy is not maintained or kept well, it is difficult to get a piece of information written on it. That is the reason, the people in the scene could not get what they wanted.

Any document carrying details is important, and a smudged carbon copy fails to deliver the detail. The scene is in Queens, NYC and the salesman is an American. He has a sarcastic note on the 'cons' of a carbon copy because the copy got smudged in his hand.

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