A line from the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence grates a bit with "articulated in limb".

The artificial being is a reality of perfect simulacrum, articulated in limb, articulate in speech, and not lacking in human response.

I am not sure what "limb" means in this sentence. If it refers to human appendages, shouldn't it be a count noun (according to various dictionaries) and be "limbs"? What does "articulated in limb" mean here?

  • If it was 'articulate in limb' it would be a more, er, articulate, witty phrase. I'm wondering if someone 'corrected' the original copy. 'articulate in limb, articulate in speech' means 'can move in a wiity, clever way - and talk that way too!' Which... would have been a nice turn of phrase. Wood have... Big difference one 'd' made. – Jelila Oct 6 '19 at 15:10

It is a bit awkward, but it's something of a play on the word "articulate", which has two meanings:

  1. having or showing the ability to speak fluently and coherently.
  2. having joints or jointed segments.

Technically, "articulated in limb" means no more than they "have joints", but it implies that they have the ability to move like human beings. This is reflected in the second part, "articulate in speech", which implies that they also talk like human beings.

The statement is meant to be a kind of advertising, which often sounds good without necessarily making perfect sense.

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