Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Euphemisms about Humour and Money (in quotes)

Southern lady
“First published in 1975, Florence King's long spoof of Southerners and all they hold dear comes across as brittle and occasionally arch.” (Publisher's Weekly on Southern Ladies and Gentlemen They mean "critical".)

“Her books tend to be laced with a large dollop of (at times slightly dark) humour.” (ponymadbooklovers.co.uk on Joanna Cannan. They mean "critical" again. There are silly grownups - sentimental animal lovers who transgress the country code, leave gates open and lose dogs - and some pretty vicious children.)

“What humour there is, is all so gentle as to be practically nonexistent - or perhaps it only works if one is an initiate to some secret society.” (Australian imdb.com commenter on The Amorous Prawn. They mean "not funny".)

“Fun is humour for people without a sense of humour.” (Euan Ferguson)

“Mary Beard is a wickedly subversive commentator on both the modern and the ancient world.” (Her TLS blog. I think they mean "lady with grey hair is a bit of a socialist – and she’s funny, too!" And "critical".)


Is your divorce messy, acrimonious (expensive) or amicable (cheap)?

“Judge’s anger adds to acrimony of £500m divorce of Laura Ashley boss Khoo Kay Peng” (Independent Headline May 2014)

“Tarrant pleads for amicable divorce as wife seeks £17m” (Evening Standard headline, 19 Sept 2006)

“The pair have agreed to split all assets equally and share joint custody of their children. His wife will keep the family home and automobiles, while Santorum will keep most of the couple's wardrobe. Several seasoned divorce attorneys say that such an amicable financial settlement is unusual.” (dailycurrant.com)

“Prenuptial agreements are booming among wealthy couples desperate to avoid the expense of a messy contested divorce settlement.” (Evening Standard, 7 May 2008 Lawyers cost, too.)

“People said the legal and financial stickiness of divorce was a ‘hassle’, and that made them shy away from marriage.” (atlantic.com 2012 Meaning that they thought divorce would be too expensive.)

The breakup was very messy, as he asked me for time to think and I subsequently discovered he was seeing someone else. (psychcentral.com Dishonest?)

“When media companies talk about ‘the solution’ or ‘the answer’, what they really want to know is ‘Who should we copy?’” (Andrew Brown/@seatrout)

“Sexualisation of children: sexuality-based commercialisation of growing youth.” (@polleetickle)

More here, and links to the rest.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Inspirational Quotes 60

It's what's on the inside that counts
Since the commercialisation of fitness in the late 1970s, society has gone about commoditising and branding physical activity. (Guardian April 14)

God has departed, but he has left his judgement behind. (Baudrillard)

If names do affect their bearers' chance of success, it may not always be because of the reactions they cause in other people (the "looking-glass self"). (bbc.co.uk It may be their effect on our self-image. But we should never think about what other people are thinking about us, because they aren’t.)

Where there is evidence, no one speaks of "faith". We do not speak of faith that 2 + 2 = 4. (Bertrand Russell)

I set about [finding a husband] as if it were an extra household duty, like hulling five pounds of strawberries or mopping the linoleum floor. (Margaret Powell, Below Stairs)

Most people will appear at your birthday party if you pay them enough money. (Daily Telegraph 2014)

Sometimes staff have to adopt an indulgent attitude towards management – as if towards a bright teenager who keeps coming up with half-baked ideas… You might quite enjoy being entirely truthful while revealing absolutely nothing… Surely you can something so banal it is in no way personal? Some guff about working with colleagues to achieve quality outcomes should do it… This sounds like the typically stupid brainwave of an under-employed manager who has just read some airport book about his “inner samurai”, or some other such guff. (Jeremy Bullmore and Guardian readers, April 3 2014)

It's a trusted tool in the self-help armoury – visualising yourself having achieved your goals, be that weighing less, enjoying the view atop Everest, or walking down the aisle with the girl or boy of your dreams. Trouble is, reams of research shows that indulging in positive fantasies actually makes people's fantasised ambitions less likely to become reality. Why? A new study claims it's because positive fantasies are de-energising. (BPS Research Digest June 2011)

Be yourself, but try to please as much as possible. (dress designer Edith Head)

Nerds are not afraid of pure, raw emotion. (Lev Grossman, Time).

This is an emphasis that shifts the focus away from well defined knowledge and skills and towards vague, questionable objectives. (Web of Substance blog critiquing progressive education. The syndrome is not confined to the education debate.)

The point of a club is not who it lets in, but who it keeps out. (Anthony Sampson)

Prayer is wider than people often think, and includes the use of caring thoughts and imagination, even if you don't believe you can address them to God. (The Rev David Grieve)

Be interested Make sure you actually want to socialize. Or, if you don’t – for example, if it’s for a work or family function – then at least be a good actor! Be interested in the conversation you’re having, as well as the person you’re having it with. If you don’t seem interested (even if you are), then they won’t want to keep talking to you. (lifehack.org They’re quite clear that “be interested” means “ACT interested”!)

Up until the age of about 15, I was a self-confident (some would say arrogant), opinionated (some would say overbearing), incautious (some would say idiotic) extrovert (some would say shameless exhibitionist). And then, beaten down by sexual rejection, mockery, the first intimations of intellectual fallibility – and not forgetting old-fashioned violence suffered at the fists of larger boys who failed to find me entertaining – my personality changed. Retreating into my shell, for a decade or so I became, if not exactly shy, then certainly a great deal more fearful. Having never been prey to either self-consciousness or self-doubt, I was, for a number of years, constrained by both. Not paralysed, not crippled, yet nonetheless a shadow of the boisterous, limelight-loving child I had once been. You could argue this withdrawal came as a necessary and welcome correction to an insufferably egotistical manner. On balance, however, I’d say it sucked. (Robert Crampton, Times 22 March 2014 Is this why people say that confidence comes from within?)

I liked her much more before she read that assertiveness book. (Early 80s – I can’t now remember who said this about whom.)More here, and links to the rest.