Saturday, October 17, 2009

Foil vs. Sabre

[Contemporaries who are not fond of language: Please skip this post.]

Don't we all think we know quite a few contemporaries who have a great deal of sense outside their head?
Do I see you nodding?
And smiling?

Well, most of you will be smiling at the picture this phrase is painting in - not outside :) - their head. Right?
And most of us - yes! Me too. - tend to use rather the sabre than the foil when it comes to praise ... let's say the lack of certain contemporaries' intelligence, or those whose richness of mental poverty is enormous.
The more delighted I was when yesterday reading this very post of my dearest English teacher, Stan (Carey).
If there was any need, it strengthened my conviction that Them bleedin' cuss words are not the non plus ultra of swearing.

I know that Stan when reading this does feel good and at the same time somehow embarrassed, and who would not, but: I do mean it.

I love the idea that those of my readers who love the English language would not only read the blog post commended above but, after reading it, feel the wish to discover the whole blog. It is worthwhile!

Ha ha ha ... and I like thinking of all the big and tiny mistakes Stan will discover while reading this.

Head over then, and one day - perhaps :) - I'll be able to tell what (deep) impact on my way of thinking had books like this ...

... and this


  1. Or even hört, hört! (I'll never get tired of that...)

  2. Great post, Sean and a delightful link to your former teacher.

  3. Ah a Cork slang dictionary! Luckily I was brought up by Corkonians so one is not needed... not by me anyway!

  4. As I intend to follow Jams around, I guess I'll need the Cork slang dictionary to understand him. So relieved it's online!

  5. Ah Sean, you are too generous. I am honoured (and yes, a little embarrassed) by your kind words. Although officially my teaching experience is negligible, I feel as though I have been handed a fine apple fresh from a grand tree in Seanhenge, if that doesn't mangle a metaphor too much.

    I fully agree, though, that the impressive mental poverty of the contemporaries to which you refer fully warrants the witty and withering sarcasm of an Irish put-down. And I would love to hear more about your encounters with Cork slang...

    (As to mistakes: whether there were any or not, I didn't notice. When listening to friends and natural storytellers such as yourself, I tend not to invoke the inner editor!)

  6. Claudia,
    ha, thanks. Lovely broad a hint that allows me to recommend another one of Stan's glorious posts: Hear ye this here: Hear! hear!.

    can you see me smiling?
    Now you must tell why you wouldn't get tired of that.

    thanks for your kind words. And even more delighted I am that you enjoyed reading Stan's post. What a lovely surprise to read your comment on his blog. Just lovely.

    you don't need Mr Beecher's opus?
    Well, far be it from me to start knawvshawling with a Corkonian. :)

    phew, the internet would really torpedo my arcane knowledge?! :)
    Seriously: Hope you will enjoy what you read.

    honour to whom honour is due!
    Strange, isn't it? After I had pushed the '-publish'-button, actually, already while writing I felt I might have chosen the wrong words to describe what I mean.
    The more glad I am that you did not notice my mistakes. :)

    And thanks for your riposte: Can you see me blushing? :)

    Too cut a(nother) long laudation short:
    Praised be the day that let me stumble upon your blog, my friend.
    The peace of the night.

  7. Praise be the day for sure, Sean. Teaching only happens in both directions, or it does not happen.

    Thank you Claudia and Doubtful, for your oyezes and hörts! I'm also very happy to have been encouraged to visit Wisewebwoman and Jams, and I now intend to do so recurringly.