18 March 2009

"Words that bring us out in hives"

Toby Young's excellent 'Status Anxiety' column in The Spectator excelled even itself on March 7.

As an experiment, TY conducted a straw poll asking for particularly irritating words and phrases.

"Almost without exception, they singled out language used by people lower down the status ladder than themselves ..."

Needless to say, Yours Truly bombed hugely on every front:

Cod-Shakespearean? Guilty as hell:

"‘Mine host’ and ‘take a pew’. In the same vein, another correspondent wrote: ‘The use of “London Town”, “Londinium”, “the Smog” or any archaic term for London induces rage' ... Other people were just straightforwardly snobbish, offering examples of words that Alan Ross might have designated ‘Non-U’ if he was writing his essay today. These include ‘moist’, ‘gusset’, ‘Ciao’ (unless Italian is your first language), ‘eaterie’, ‘soirée’, ‘classy’ and ‘any size on the Starbucks menu’."

Moist? I worked alongside a darling thing at Amazon who would squirm at that word. Never worked out why.

Worth reading.

3 comments :

Sibadd said...

'Yours Truly bombed hugely on every front'? Tu ne doir pas dire du mal de toi-même. The fun of reading your blog is that you don't at all. I'm not sure this is about class thrse days, more about using terms to death at the end of the day. And stop being so horrid about Jade Goody.

Busker said...

I had thought of easing up on the Goody creature but could never work out why. Then some new farce would come along to banish the thought.

Sibadd said...

In a dictatorship the state would assemble these stories for you and make you digest them. We can still walk away from this stuff. The other side is more serious. How does liberal government access the lumpenproletariat before fascism or communism uses them worse - as with the jihadist imams and a million landless testosterone filled peasants? Max C would say that JG's fate has succeeded in getting girls impervious to 'educated' persuasion to ask their GPs for cervical smears. World Cup Football may save me from being eviscerated while drinking latte.