Interested in Language
Can anybody explain to me what the bold text means, please?
“The contract covered this eventuality,” says Dr. Derwent. “Your head’s been assigned.”
“What do you mean, assigned?” barks Quentin. At least he can still bark. “You can’t assign someone’s head!”
“You wrote that clause yourself, remember?” says Suzie. She’s suppressing a giggle. “You wrote the whole contract yourself!” She’s bubbling with merriment. Quentin feels like decking her.
“In the eventuality that the Medea Clinic is sold, any unprocessed clients are assigned for fulfillment to the new owner,” says Dr. Derwent.
“And as it turns out, in the interests of the bottom line, the Medea Clinic has indeed been sold.” He’s smirking openly now. He slips his arm around Suzie’s shoulder.
“And it’s been renamed,” says Suzie. “In the interests of the bottom line.” An actual giggle this time. “We knew it would be much more profitable this way—more than growing new bodies. We just stored away the heads until we had enough famous people for the grand opening.”
“It’s now called the Headslave Reruns Gallery,” says Dr. Derwent. “Catchy name. We did focus groups—very memorable, high scores on the curiosity quotient. It’s a branch of Bryant Entertainment. People pay top dollar to come and see the inner lives of their favourite—”
“I don’t believe this!” says Quentin. “You can’t turn me into a freak show! Anyway, who’d pay to look at a bunch of cut-off heads? This is a joke! I’m not awake!”
The Headlife by Margaret Atwood, 2012
Thank you very much
1. "In the interests of the bottom line":
The "bottom line" is a financial term, which essentially means the "profit or loss" shown at the foot (hence bottom line) of a financial statement, such as a balance sheet.
Therefore, "in the interests of the bottom line" means "in order to maximise profit".
2. "high scores on the curiosity quotient":
The "curiosity quotient" is a term proposed by Thomas L. Friedman as part of a fictitious and non-mathematical formula to show how people are motivated to learn about a subject which interests them, whether or not they have a high IQ. The proposal is that "curiosity quotient" + "Passion [for the subject] quotient" > IQ.
There are currently no tests that practically measure, or quantify, the curiosity quotient or the passion quotient, and so this whole area remains a concept, rather than a reality at the moment.
The idea is that if something has a high curiosity quotient, then it has a strong ability to attract people. As it can't actually be measured in reality, the speaker is purely using it as a "buzz-word" term to demonstrate how catchy the new name is, and how much that will draw people in to visit and pay entrance fees.
(BrE first language speaker.)