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Tony Grist

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Another Miscellany [Nov. 19th, 2005|02:43 pm]
Tony Grist
It's been frosty now for three days in a row- or is it four? Cloudless skies, long shadows, light with a sunset tinge to it all day long.

I was reading yesterday that certain members of certain songbird species which normally spend the summer in Germany and the winter in Africa have taken to wintering in Britain instead. It's a huge gamble. On the one hand the cold may kill them, but on the other they get a head-start on the softies who went to Africa when it comes to claiming the best breeding grounds in spring. Incidentally this is one more proof that global warming is really happening.

I had a lovely dream last night (part Rob Roy, part 39 Steps, part Bonnie and Clyde) where I was on the run in Scotland and getting to shoot lots and lots of policemen. This is how my subconscious reacts to yesterday's news of the shooting of two policewomen in Bradford. "Inappropriate" hardly begins to cover it.

And talking about inappropriate behaviour, we were in class this morning, discussing gender relations in late 18th century Arab society, when I (not entirely inadvertently) sent a shockwave round the room by saying "shag". How silly our linguistic conventions are!

[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2005-11-19 08:16 am (UTC)
Hadn't anyone heard "shag" before? People are so silly about words.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-11-19 08:26 am (UTC)
I guess it was felt to be a "street" or "light entertainment" word, unsuited to elevated, academic discussion.
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2005-11-19 08:42 am (UTC)
So you should've said "fuck" instead or what? :-P

Sometimes people focus too much on how things are said, rather than on what is actually said. "Shag" shouldn't really shock anybody these days.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-11-19 11:57 am (UTC)
Well yes, I might as well have gone for broke...:)
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From: ex_kharin447
2005-11-19 09:33 am (UTC)
Hmm. What were gender relations like in late 18th century Arab society?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-11-19 12:13 pm (UTC)
We were looking at a passage from Mungo Park. According to Park, who didn't like Arabs-

"The education of the girls is neglected altogether...They are regarded, I believe, as an inferior species of animals, and seem to be brought up for no other purpose than of administering to the sensual pleasures of their imperious masters...

The Moors have singular ideas of feminine perfection. The gracefulness of figure and motion and a countenance enlivened by expression, are by no means essential points in their standard; with them corpulence and beauty appear to be terms nearly synonymous. A woman of even moderate pretensions must be one who cannot walk without a slave under each arm to support her, and a perfect beauty is a load for a camel."

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[User Picture]From: seaslug_of_doom
2005-11-19 11:51 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-11-19 12:15 pm (UTC)
That's me.

A bit like Johnny Depp in his latest movie, right?
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-11-20 01:16 pm (UTC)
I'm delighted you shocked them all!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-11-21 04:32 am (UTC)
It seems so silly to adopt a "special" vocabulary for these occasions.
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