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Posherising

Enter here for humour and irreverence.
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Dave B
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Posherising

#1 Post by Dave B » June 23rd, 2010, 9:00 pm

"Posherising" (Posherizing for our trans-pond members) is the reforming of anything from the vulgar (a posh word for common) parlance to the posh (vulgar terminology for anything the hoi poloi don't understand).

The great, late, Churchill was an expert in this field, expounding that a fellow MP was, " . . . intoxicated with the exuberance of his own verbosity" and when saying that another was guilty of, "Terminological inexactitude."


A small example, otherwise know as, "Twinkle, twinkle etc.:

"Scintillate, scintillate miniscule asteric,
How I ponder your nature generic,
Set in the firmament so very high,
Like a carbonaceous gemstone in the sky."


Another posherism: "He has disperambulated his percussive sonic generator."

I am sure that others may be found.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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jaywhat
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Re: Posherising

#2 Post by jaywhat » June 24th, 2010, 5:36 am

Seems like an exaggerated and thereby humorous version of the
'U' versus 'non-U' business form many years ago. That was serious and class conscious based on a book (I think of that name) - like calling the John 'toilet' 'lavatory' etc etc. 'Serviette' v 'napkin' is another I remember. I am sure friends will fill me in here.


and here is a bit from wikipedia-

NANCY Mitford popularised the designations 'U' and 'non-U' in the 1950s to designate 'Upper class' and 'non-Upper class' behaviour and language, and has since been widely credited with their invention. In fact, the terms originated in 1954 in an academic paper on 'Upper-Class English Usage' by Alan Ross, Professor of Linguistics at Birmingham University. The following edited extracts are taken from Ross's 'U and non-U', published in 1956


Vocabulary

Bath. To take a bath is non-U against U to have one's bath.

Civil: this word is used by U- speakers to approve the behaviour of a non-U person in that the latter has appreciated the difference between U and non-U, eg The guard was certainly very civil.

Cruet. The sentence Pass the cruet, please is very non-U; cruets are in themselves non-U. In gentlemen's houses there are, ideally, separate containers.

Cultivated in They're cultivated people is non-U and so also is cultured. There is really no U-equivalent (some U-speakers use civilised in this sense).

Cup. How is your cup? is a non- U equivalent of Have some more tea? or the like. Possible negative non-U answers are I'm doing nicely, thank you and (Quite) sufficient, thank you. There is a well-known non-U affirmative answer: I don't mind if I do (but this was U about a century ago).

Cycle is non-U against U bike, bicycle (whether verb or noun); non-U motorcycle / U motorbike, motorbicycle is perhaps less pronouncedly so.

Dinner. U-speakers eat lunch in the middle of the day (luncheon is old-fashioned U) and dinner in the evening; if a U-speaker feels that what he is eating is a travesty of his dinner, he may appropriately call it supper. Non-U speakers (also U-children and U-dogs), on the other hand, have their dinner in the middle of the day. Evening meal is non-U.

Greens meaning 'vegetables' is non-U.

Home: non-U They've a lovely home / U They've a very nice house.

Horse-riding is non-U against riding. From the non-U point of view, the expression is reasonable, for to the non-U there are other kinds of riding.

Ill in I was very ill on the boat is non-U against U sick.

Lounge is a name given by the non-U to a room in their houses; for U-speakers, hall or dining- room might well be the nearest equivalent (but all speakers speak of the lounge of a hotel).

Non-U mental / U mad.

Pardon] is used by the non-U in three main ways: (1) if the hearer does not hear the speaker properly; (2) as an apology (eg on brushing by someone in a passage); (3) after hiccuping or belching. The normal U-correspondences are very curt, viz. (1) What? (2) Sorry] (3) (Silence).

Pleased to meet you] This is a frequent non-U response to the greeting How d'you do? U-speakers normally just repeat the greeting; to reply to the greeting (eg with Quite well, thank you) is non-U.

Posh is essentially non-U but, recently, it has gained ground among schoolboys of all classes.

Non-U radio / U wireless.

Rude meaning ''indecent' is non-U; there is no universal U- correspondent.

Non-U serviette / U table-

napkin; perhaps the best known of all the linguistic class-indicators of English.

Teacher is essentially non-U, though school-teacher is used by the U to indicate a non-U teacher. The U equivalent is master, mistress with prefixed attribute (as maths-mistress). Non-U children often refer to their teachers without article (as, Teacher says . . .).

Non-U toilet-paper / U lavatory-paper.

Non-U wealthy / U rich.

IN ENGLAND today the question 'Can a non-U speaker become a U-speaker?' is one noticeably of paramount importance for many Englishmen (and for some of their wives). The answer is that an adult can never attain complete success. Moreover, it must be remembered that, in these matters, U-speakers have ears to hear, so that one single pronunciation, word, or phrase will suffice to brand an apparent U-speaker as originally non-U (for U-speakers themselves never make 'mistakes'). Under these circumstances, efforts to change voice are surely better abandoned.

ludite
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Re: Posherising

#3 Post by ludite » June 25th, 2010, 9:10 pm

I used to call myself a high level silicon oxide hygenic consultant A windowcleaner

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Paolo
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Re: Posherising

#4 Post by Paolo » June 28th, 2010, 5:07 pm

English is an excellent language for this kind of thing. Normally the 'posherised' versions of words are of French (or Latin) derivation and the vulgar is based on the Anglo-Saxon, reflecting a division in the languages predominantly spoken by the aristocracy and the peasants since the Norman conquest.
Dave B wrote:The great, late, Churchill was an expert in this field, expounding that a fellow MP was, " . . . intoxicated with the exuberance of his own verbosity" and when saying that another was guilty of, "Terminological inexactitude."
Winston Churchill was a master of rhetoric, in which this division of language was well recognised. When dealing with peers he commonly went with the French rooted terms to illustrate his superiority, but the memorable section of his famous 'We shall fight on the beaches...' speech to the House of Commons was entirely made up of words with an Anglo-Saxon root, except for the last word 'surrender'. This helped made his key point clear and accessible, and it made him seem more down to Earth and approachable.

I believe that there was a study not long ago that found perceptions of intelligence are actually reduced when people use 'posherised' terms, rather than keeping things simple. I'll see if I can track that bit of work down to confirm it.

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Dave B
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Re: Posherising

#5 Post by Dave B » June 28th, 2010, 5:25 pm

Yes, Paolo, the origins and use of English has fascinated me since I started reading. I started a degree in Eng. Lang. in 2005, but my health got in the way.
I believe that there was a study not long ago that found perceptions of intelligence are actually reduced when people use 'posherised' terms, rather than keeping things simple. I'll see if I can track that bit of work down to confirm it.
At first reading that sounds counter-intuitive. But, thinking on it, the best speakers I have heard have been the ones that have, as you say, kept things simple. I would appreciate it if you could trace the origin.

It is this mixture of voices that can make English such a flexible language for poetry, especially nuanced poetry (to use a poshish word that seems to have gained popularity lately!)
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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getreal
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Re: Posherising

#6 Post by getreal » June 28th, 2010, 9:56 pm

I'd be interested to know if it's a purely British thing, to make initial judgements about people's social status based purely on their accent (well, I do, anyway and I think if we are honest most of us do.)
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

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Dave B
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Re: Posherising

#7 Post by Dave B » June 29th, 2010, 8:07 pm

Perhaps there should be a sister thread to this - Bureaucrising.

My archaeologist friend, who works for the city council, now has the title, "Historic Environment Officer". Which is sort of accurate, but . . . :shrug:
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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jamesjones950
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Re: Posherising

#8 Post by jamesjones950 » June 29th, 2010, 8:22 pm

I am an Independent Distributor of Quality Information

(I deliver a posh mag and leaflets, brochures etc.)
a "New Atheist" for the last 55 years

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Dave B
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Re: Posherising

#9 Post by Dave B » June 29th, 2010, 8:47 pm

There's always the good old, "Pre-owned motor vehicle sales executive."
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getreal
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Re: Posherising

#10 Post by getreal » June 29th, 2010, 8:48 pm

I may have said this before, but we had a "Department of Knowledge Management" with it's own Director and staff (this was a a health board).

It was the fucking library!!!
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

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Dave B
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Re: Posherising

#11 Post by Dave B » June 29th, 2010, 8:51 pm

getreal wrote:I may have said this before, but we had a "Department of Knowledge Management" with it's own Director and staff (this was a a health board).

It was the fucking library!!!
At my old college it was called "The Learning Gateway"!
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Fia
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Re: Posherising

#12 Post by Fia » June 29th, 2010, 9:17 pm

We were told, on a library training course (I work in a library, amongst other things) that we were "Information Gateway Professionals".
Cue much spluttering from me :shock: [-X
'Serviette' v 'napkin' is another I remember.
I remember that odd transition, jaywhat. Those odd bits of material that we'd always called serviettes were, at a stroke, renamed napkins. When i enquired why I was told that napkins is more polite :shrug: Would have thought the other way round as napkins also means nappies / diapers etc. Not that I ever use such things now... And are there really degrees of politeness? I got my own teenage self back by insisting on calling the toilet the bog. And have certainly never used the expression "powder my nose" which always seemed rather unsavoury to me.... but amazed me then, and still does, that people got upset about such things.

Use what language you like, as long as you communicate your needs, surely?

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getreal
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Re: Posherising

#13 Post by getreal » June 29th, 2010, 9:29 pm

I remember reading somewhere that any word ending in "....ette" was really common. I also read that only airports and hotels have lounges. Houses have living rooms or drawing rooms. It's also very common to put milk into your cup before you pout tea in.

I have a very old friend who is terribly posh and he keeps me right :D

Where on earth do these things originate from?

Or should that be "from where do these things originate", since ending a sentance with a preposition is terribly, terribly common.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

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Dave B
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Re: Posherising

#14 Post by Dave B » June 29th, 2010, 9:38 pm

It's also very common to put milk into your cup before you pout tea in.
The theory behind this was that pouring tea into milk raised its temperature slowly. Before the days of "homogenised" milk one way of separating the fat was by "scalding" the milk, raising its temp. suddenly.

No one wanted little blobs of fat floating on the top.

That is the story I heard anyway. Always drink mine "green" (pretentious, moi? Mais non!)
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Fia
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Re: Posherising

#15 Post by Fia » June 29th, 2010, 9:44 pm

drawing rooms
I'm really, really awful at drawing so why would i want a whole room to do it in? Just how many pencils does one need? :D

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Alan C.
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Re: Posherising

#16 Post by Alan C. » June 29th, 2010, 10:11 pm

different strokes for different folks eh!
I always think of the "drawing" room, as the place where the middle act of "hung drawn and quartered" took place. :)
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Alan H
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Re: Posherising

#17 Post by Alan H » June 29th, 2010, 11:01 pm

getreal wrote:...since ending a sentance with a preposition is terribly, terribly common.
Making mistakes spelling sentence is also terribly common. :wink:
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
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Alan H
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Re: Posherising

#18 Post by Alan H » June 29th, 2010, 11:03 pm

Fia wrote:
drawing rooms
I'm really, really awful at drawing so why would i want a whole room to do it in? Just how many pencils does one need? :D
One does know, of course, that, in the proper circles, it is a withdrawing room, doesn't one?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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jaywhat
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Re: Posherising

#19 Post by jaywhat » June 30th, 2010, 5:37 am

getreal wrote:I'd be interested to know if it's a purely British thing, to make initial judgements about people's social status based purely on their accent (well, I do, anyway and I think if we are honest most of us do.)

One trusts that it is only initial and not long lasting especially as IMO, 'social status' is a phrase that is becoming more and more debatable.

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