Archive for words and phrases

You Might Have Noticed

Posted in Writing and Things Literary with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2011 by AF

…or you might not, of course. However, the thing to which I am referring is the fact that, unlike some bloggers, I’m more than happy to get into a discussion with commenters. That, if I’m to be honest, is probably why I tend at times – all right then, often – to be somewhat “controversial”, if not downright outrageous! I like a debate. Heck! I love a debate!

That, I presume, is the main reason why I always try to reply to individual comments. There is too the angle that it’s my view of politeness that if someone takes the trouble to read something I write and comment on it, then I think it deserves my time to reply if I can (though I don’t hold it against others if they take a different view), but the truth is I love to debate – so much so that I’ll take any stance you want me to in most arguments and I’m quite happy to be wrong in the end too – if you can prove it!

There are, naturally, some subjects that I regard as really important (such as women’s rights and the whole equality issue, for instance) and, though you may not always (ever?) agree with my take on the subject, I do honestly believe at least the bones of what I say about such things.

Other times, though, I’ll say something just for effect – just to start an argument. Hopefully that’ll be a reasonably polite argument, but an argument nevertheless. There are very few situations where I bear a grudge. I can have a blazing row with someone and then shake hands and go round the pub for a drink with them. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll back down easily, so you’ve gotta push your point home!

Whatever the outcome, it’s good to talk, don’t you think? As someone famous said: “Jaw, jaw is better than war, war” – well, a lot of times it is, although “verbal war” between lovers can sometimes be so wounding that it is just as fatal for the participants as the real thing, or to their relationship at least.

Still that’s probably best left for another post…

🙄

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Is It Just Me?

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on April 23, 2011 by AF

I’ve wondered at many things over the years (too many years that is), but I was today reminded of something that is a recurring mystery to me. It started when Twitter (well, rather it was one of the interesting people I follow on Twitter) pointed me to an excellent article by a clever and witty woman who, me not being American, I don’t know.

Anyway, it was a good article highlighting the ridiculousness of discrimination – most particularly sex discrimination, but also on the basis of race, etc. It’s well worth reading, so why not take a good long peek here. I really enjoyed reading it and I thought it was funny, insightful and probably very accurate as well as important – and then, to me, at the very end comes this quote that brought my confusion flooding back… “As American social critic Elizabeth Janeway responded, “We haven’t come a long way; we’ve come a short way. If we hadn’t come a short way no one would be calling us ‘baby.'”

WTF is that about? Maybe it’s me (there’d be nothing new in that), but I’ve never understood why women would mind that – it’s like me getting all pissed off because some woman calls me “Honey,” or “Mister,” or even “Hey you.” Why would I care? It’s a whole lot better than “Sir” or (in the case of women) “Madam”, which authority endlessly seems to use in order to be offensive because it’s overly polite and yet we can’t prove that and so argue with it.

I mean – what is their problem? To me (as in this case) I read an excellent article that is very well written and, more importantly, tells it like it is and then the thing I’m left with is the feeling that women (in this case) can be so damned pompous. I know the disappointment is my fault because I have this rosy view of women and their fight for equality as worthy and in fact vital for all of us – men too – but still…

Perhaps someone can enlighten me, because I just don’t see this at all. Is it perhaps that there is some hidden difference between the UK and the US of which I’m not aware? I know we’re traditionally “divided by a common language” and maybe there is hidden meaning in this, but in my view, this is petty and just plain silly. Worse, it’s counterproductive.

Gonnakillhim on Twitter has explained that it may be that it somehow puts the user in a superior position over the receiver and I genuinely thank her for that explanation. I guess that’s probably right, but in my opinion that’s only in the mind of the person hearing it. If it is true (and it may well be, at least in America), then it raises another question for me – how the heck did people manage to get themselves into such a stupid situation? I mean, to me, women are great, definitely equal and the average women (whether she likes it or not) is better at some things than the average man and vice versa – what the hell’s wrong with that?

Why would it be some kind of a put down if I called a woman I was in conversation with “Honey,” or “Baby,” (which to me is just being friendly) instead of “Madam”, which I would only personally say if I really meant “…and f*ck you!” but wanted to avoid actually using the words.

Hey ho – sigh – rant over. But I would like to really understand – seriously!

You Need An Ego

Posted in Miscellaneous, Writing and Things Literary with tags , , , , , , , on April 15, 2011 by AF

It’s a fact that many quite good writers find it very hard to find a publisher for their work. What they create may be at the very least as good as many of the less famous novelists, scriptwriters and so on, but it’s easy to become famous, if you’re already famous, or infamous… if you see what I mean.

Creative people are often not at all good at selling – particularly themselves. Add to that, an author’s latest work is a sort of “Frankenstein’s monster” that they conceived and bore all on their own in a quite “unnatural” manner and they (probably subconsciously and quite naturally) want to protect it from the critical eyes of the world. Additionally, we also often tend to hide ourselves behind our characters and plots. But the truth is that we need to put ourselves and our work “out there” in order to have any chance of success. It’s a bit like going into a relationship – if we want it to succeed and last, we have to be prepared to be vulnerable.

However, I’m not just waffling as usual and there is a point to this post…

A while back, I wrote an item on women’s bios. If you’re interested (and I think if you’re a woman, you should be) take a look at it here

I’ve noticed that many women, in particular, who are serious about writing do seem to have a very different type of bio compared with those who are solely bloggers for the sake of it – not that I’m criticising that in any way – I’m just pointing out a difference. These women have much more of a “male” style of bio. They are (for example) a writer, scriptwriter, novelist, blogger, wife and mother, etc. So, there is a clear difference in the way in which they perceive themselves – they are first and foremost (to themselves) whatever their particular artistic talent is and someone else’s wife, or mother second.

I’m not suggesting for one moment that that makes them any less of a wife or mother, or that they don’t work extremely hard at their relationships, but their perception of “self” is (probably necessarily) different from other people and that makes them altogether more self possessed than others and, to my mind, they’re perhaps more liberated and that’s good, isn’t it?

In short, such women have an ego and they are prepared to let is be on show. Of course, I dare say they have their hang-ups just like the rest of us, but they just seem more able to rise above them.

It seems that, if you really want to write, you need an EGO (of some sort at least)…

😉

Phrase For Phriday

Posted in A Phrase For Phriday with tags , on August 27, 2010 by AF

These Phrases for Phriday (I hope) provide examples of how Brits and Americans (and other English speakers around the world) are often, as the saying goes, divided by a common language.

I’m not at all sure if these are solely British words and phrases. However, some of them sound pretty British to me – like they might be instances when those Americans and others I mentioned might be tempted to think, “WTF does that mean?”. But I’m providing nothing more here than my personal interpretation of the words in question. Of course, I could be wrong – nothing new there then, either!

~

Today’s phrase is…

Actually, I’ve included two phrases both involving “a little” of something and I suspect they will be well known to Americans and others. However…
 
“A little learning is a dangerous thing” – Alexander Pope (1709). A very good and accurate observation that is fairly self explanatory, but that I guess we would all do well to remember – just because we know a bit about a subject it often tends to make us think we are some kind of expert, but it doesn’t actually mean we know what we are talking about. Still, that doesn’t need to stop most of us, does it?
😆
 
The second is one of my favourites with which I can empathise and I’m sure everyone will get this without further explanation…
 
“A little of what you fancy does you good.” Yeah, baby!

Have a good weekend…  😉

Phrase For Phriday

Posted in A Phrase For Phriday with tags , on April 16, 2010 by AF

These (erratically sort of regular) Phrases for Phriday are something that I started a while ago in response to a suggestion from one of my readers, the lovely PJ. They (I hope) provide examples of how Brits and Americans (and other English speakers around the world) are often, as the saying goes, divided by a common language.

I’m not at all sure if these are particularly solely British words and phrases. However, I have to start somewhere and that means making some assumptions… they sound pretty British to me, or to put it another way, these are instances when I believe those Americans and others I mentioned might be tempted to think, “WTF does that mean?”. But I’m providing nothing more here than my personal interpretation of the words in question. Of course, I could be wrong – nothing new there then, either!

~

Today’s phrase is…

All my eye and Betty Martin. I have no idea where this comes from, but it means that you are calling what has been said – utter rubbish! I believe people in the US probably know the phrase “My eye!” as meaning much the same thing. Where, who, or what Betty Martin was, or how her name came into the picture in the 1800s in the UK, I have no idea. A current and apt UK example would be, “Oh, that’s all my eye and Betty Martin. Surely you don’t believe anything that guy says. He’s a politician for heavens sake!”

Have a good weekend…  😉

Phrase For Phriday

Posted in A Phrase For Phriday with tags , on March 12, 2010 by AF

These Phrases for Phriday are something that I started a while ago in response to a suggestion from one of my readers, the lovely PJ. They (I hope) provide examples of how Brits and Americans (and other English speakers around the world) are often, as the saying goes, divided by a common language.

I prefer to begin these light-hearted posts by admitting right here that I’m not at all sure if these are particularly solely British words and phrases. However, I have to start somewhere and that means making some assumptions… they sound pretty British to me, or to put it another way, these are instances when I believe those Americans and others I mentioned might be tempted to think, “WTF does that mean?”. But I’m providing nothing more here than my personal interpretation of the words in question. Of course, I could be wrong – nothing new there then, either!

~

It’s been a while since my last post on this, so today’s phrase is a whole paragraph…

I felt a right Hampton: She smiled and flashed her hampsteads and then kicked me in the khyber. Of course, I was pretty brahms at the time, or I wouldn’t have asked her for a butchers at her bristols. The thing is though, she’s got this gorgeous long red barnet and the sexiest green minces you’ve ever seen.

I guess you can figure it out if I tell you that it’s rhyming slang and…

Hampton = Hampton Wick = dick
Hampstead = Hampstead Heath = teeth
Khyber = Khyber Pass = arse (ass to our American cousins)
Brahms = Brahms and Liszt = pissed (drunk)
Butchers = Butcher’s hook = look
Bristols = Bristol Cities = titties (boobs)
Barnet = Barnet Fair = hair
and Minces = Mince Pies = eyes

Have a good weekend…  😉

Phrase For Phriday

Posted in A Phrase For Phriday with tags , , , on January 29, 2010 by AF

These Phrases for Phriday are something that I started a while ago in response to a suggestion from one of my readers, the lovely PJ. They (I hope) provide examples of how Brits and Americans (and other English speakers around the world) are often, as the saying goes, divided by a common language.

I prefer to begin these light-hearted posts by admitting right here that I’m not at all sure if these are particularly solely British words and phrases. However, I have to start somewhere and that means making some assumptions… they sound pretty British to me, or to put it another way, these are instances when I believe those Americans and others I mentioned might be tempted to think, “WTF does that mean?”. But I’m providing nothing more here than my personal interpretation of the words in question. Of course, I could be wrong – nothing new there then, either!

~

For today’s phrase, we’re back on the subject of Cockney Rhyming Slang. The phrase is… What a berk, which is a not very nice way of saying, “What an idiot!” However, most people who use it don’t understand the derivation, which is Cockney Rhyming slang – as in: What a Berk – Berkley Hunt and I’ll leave you to figure out the rhyme… Still, although I’ve never heard it, I suppose it might also be used in a more literal form when discussing a young woman with a fine pair of Bristols – Bristol Cities – er… titties (boobs) and her other attractions.

Don’t blame me for the innuendo – The Peach Tart is having a particularly smutty patch on her blog and it kinda got me thinking – ordinarily I never think about sex… Do you believe in fairies by the way?

 

Have a good weekend…  ; )