Archive for the ‘Language and class’ Category

A musical decline

May 3, 2017

Today’s Rhymes With Orange, which presents the reader with a challenge in understanding. You need to know something about music, and a lot about urban life:

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That’s a grand piano on a cinder block, with its lid propped open by a shovel, on the grassy lawn (BrE garden) in front of the house; and there’s a BEWARE OF DOG sign, indicating the presence of a guard dog. Signs of urban blight (see the title of the cartoon), decline, diminishment (a diminuendo). All very troubling (in musical Punnish, treble-ing) to the musical old couple walking by.

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This weekend’s tv hunk

February 25, 2017

… hails from New Zealand. Pana Hema Taylor (or Hema-Taylor), who I recently watched in the first season of the New Zealand detective series The Brokenwood Mysteries, in which he plays Jared Morehu. The man in a p.r. head shot:

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Hema Taylor has a sturdy physique, a powerful but attractive face, and a strong physical presence – definitely a hunk.

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Roll, Brittania

February 23, 2017

A piece in the NYT on the 20th, by Steven Erlanger, under the head

British Snobbery Still Found In Paychecks, a Report Says [in print]

Hear This: Class Pay Gap in Britain Shows Snobbery Persists [on-line]

To a (very) rough approximation: in the UK, the most significant social fact about a person, the thing you register first about them, is their class; in the US, it’s their race. What follows from this is that the most powerful forms of social discrimination in the UK are based on class, in the US on race. And while some advances have been made in reducing the baleful effects of these types of discrimination in both places, the fact is that great and shameful social disparities, seriously disadvantaging the disfavored groups, persist (and fuel angry backlash towards the favored groups). In particular, Britannia rolls on in her disdain for the working class, and the first and easiest signal of class identity (though not the only such signal) is language.

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