Monday, 5 April 2010

A Cane From Eton Says...


A strange trend has been noticed...

...creeping into some of the so-called 'highbrow' newspapers - that of extending the name of a supposedly typical item of clothing to describe someone, probably starting with 'suits' for conventional businessmen, and anoraks, of course, for train spotters and computer losers.

How baffling it would be for new English students to find items of dress extended to objects connected with the post, used instead of job titles - especially if the connection is not one they would make automatically in their culture.

Thus we find a pair of braces in the City, a green welly at the Country Landowners Association, a tight black tee-shirt at the hair dressing salon, a bobbly hat on the ski slope, a silk shirt at the Jockey Club and even, (regrettably, says the librarian who contributed this piece) a long wooly cardigan at the County Library.

Logical extension of this idea means that you may well hear about a pair of scissors at the fashion house, a tall tree at the Forestry Commission, a soft pencil at the design office and a big spear at the Ugandan Embassy (big meaning senior, of course).

It seems to be used most often by media writers to introduce a quote, as in "A junior aspirin at the Department of Health says..."

So what about us teachers? Are we sticks of chalk? Board rubbers, maybe? Worn elbow patches, perhaps? Or, shame of shames, a pair of brown corduroys..? Cringe!

~ YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE PREVIOUS SNAIL POSTS ~

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Hotch Potch English: The SNAIL ~ 'A Cane From Eton Says'
Created & written by Sab Will
Copyright 2010 Sab Will / Hotch Potch English ~ The Unique English Language Website
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