Re: Not Like A Prole And Not Manstealing Either

1

Ugh.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:51 PM
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"Natural glamour" is awesome. Amenable to very wide interpretation.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:53 PM
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I assume that means you're supposed to show up nude. But waxed, for the glamour.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:56 PM
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Or covered in glitter, maybe. (I kinda like the more colourful term "raver scabies.")


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:59 PM
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"Natural glamour": go naked to find the prey; move like an animal to feel the kill; smear blue-stained fat on your chest to ward off the enemy's blows. Also, no sneakers.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:59 PM
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not necessarily waxed, but with a lot of glitter and sequins.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:59 PM
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Silly LB, you must have been thinking of au natural. Haha! Guess what LB thought, everyone!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 3:59 PM
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8

Do triple cross-posters get a special prize?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:00 PM
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But waxed, for the glamour.

Glitter?
http://www.snopes.com/embarrass/feminine/glitter.asp


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:00 PM
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7: Fine. Just for that, I'm going to show up at DC Con fully clothed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:01 PM
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11

I've heard that one before.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:03 PM
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12

I try to go to as few events that have a dress code, period. Except, you know, court. You know what's really annoying? When like, individuals have parties that have a dress code. Get the fuck over yourselves already. I was visiting a friend, and she had an invitation on her fridge to a baby shower with a dress code of "dressy casual." I need to wear something particular to come over to your house and open presents? Fuck all y'all.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:04 PM
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12 - Agreed, but there are times that some guidance can be nice. I was invited to a coworker's kid's birthday party a couple of years ago and figured it would be a casual affair, given that they were kids but I was the only person there not in my Sunday best. It was kind of awkward.

So, while dress codes are silly, I'd rather know than not know.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:07 PM
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dressy casual

Are you sure it wasn't an oxymoron party?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:08 PM
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"Dressy casual" usually means (for men) no jeans and a shirt with a collar, as opposed to casual, where jeans and no collar would be ok. This exhausts my knowledge of dress code terminology.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:09 PM
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I don't know why I'm so vehement about this, but I really hate dress codes of basically all kinds. If I want to dress up, I'll dress up. Actually part of the reason it annoys me is because people look at me weird for dressing up for no reason, as if I am making them uncomfortable (people are much more likely to directly draw attention to your being over- rather than under-dressed). Sometimes I like to dress up, both to go to work, and to go out or even to go have brunch on a Sunday. Most of the time, I like to wear jeans. Fuckin' a, people.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:12 PM
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But even when a dress code is specified, it's hard to tell. There's been a real slippage in what things mean. I went to a wedding that was deemed "semi-formal" a while back and all the girls were just in sundresses. That's not the definition of semi-formal I was raised with. If people can't even agree on something like that these days, the hell with "snappy chic".


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:12 PM
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I've never intentionally followed a stated dress code. If it happens, it happens.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:12 PM
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There really is some value in differentiating between 'wear whatever, I'll be in a ripped T-shirt and jeans'; 'look pretty, it's a party'; and 'let's do serious dressup -- go all out'. But I can't think of any non-annoying way to convey that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:12 PM
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19: well sure, as a general agreement about what sort of event it is --- but formalizing it?

I mean, It's not like I'd got to a wedding or a funeral in jeans and a t-shirt, but if I dress nice for a night out and someone tells me I should have worn a tie (or whatever equivalent `mismatch' you want) --- screw them, they've got a problem, not I.

Most people aren't comfortable feeling very over/under dressed, so it's sensible to give cues for that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:16 PM
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I don't know why people don't just give more specific instructions, as opposed to these cryptic insidery terms (well, I think I do know, but it would be better to be specific).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:16 PM
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22

I'm glamour chic. Also natural snappy. Baby.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:18 PM
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21: Well, some of it is trying not to be over-controlling -- "If you think a tank top and cut-offs is naturally glamorous, then bless your heart, on you it is!" A charitable interpretation is that it's trying to clue the guests in to what the general tone will be, without specifying what they have to do about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:18 PM
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21 gets it right. My fiancee really agonizes over these meaningless terms that appear in invitations, which are just barely meaningful enough that it would be the act of a yokel to call my cousin up and say "Um...what percentage of the women do you think will be wearing high heels? What about a tie but no jacket? What about a jacket but no tie? Is it going to be partially outdoors, or entirely indoors?"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:19 PM
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Then it wouldn't be a code, ogged.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:19 PM
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17. The purpose of etiquette is to put everyone at ease by following the rules. Once you have dispensed with the rules, the result is anarchy. One now has a vague anxiety of not knowing what to wear, and the invention of bizzaro sub categories is a vain attempt to ease that anxiety.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:20 PM
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27

"Safely west of the Rockies" works for most purposes.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:21 PM
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I ask guests to please dress sensibly, but to err on the side of wearing what will become fashionable in the next year or two, rather than coasting on the tails of 2006 fashion.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:21 PM
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Yeah, that's right. The problem is that the last set of broadly understood 'rules' that existed for dress codes are so obsolete that they differentiated between occasions requiring dinner jackets and those requiring tails. They just aren't any use any more.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:21 PM
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Actually that should be "safely west of the Rockies and not in California," I suppose, or at least "not in LA."


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:22 PM
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Some things should not be tolerated
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8670164/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:22 PM
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32

I'm glad I've never been invited to one of those weddings on the beach where the guests are expected to go barefoot.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:25 PM
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33

It might be fun to come up with deliberately obscure neo-dress codes and see how people interpret them. Eutectic semi-formal. Liminal snappy glamour.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:25 PM
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34

IA has twelve toes?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:26 PM
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26 and 29 also get it right. I would estimate that maybe 1,000 people in the United States have ever witnessed an occasion which was more formal than what is technically referred to as "semi-formal" (tuxedo/black tie). As a result, the word "semi-formal" is vestigially attached to the HS and college dances where people dress up really really formal, but then for other occasions "semi-formal" means "not as formal as you would dress at a semi-formal".


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:26 PM
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basically conformity as a way of making people feel comfortable isn't completely horrible (if inherently boring) , conformity as a way of establishing `in' and `out' groups should be mocked at every opportunity.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:27 PM
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It might be fun to come up with deliberately obscure neo-dress codes and see how people interpret them. Eutectic semi-formal. Liminal snappy glamour.

Great idea. Maybe I'll actually throw a party this year, so the floor is open to suggestions. "Ludic diaphany" is the best one I can come up with.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:30 PM
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38

I nominate "White Collar" "Organization Man" and "Lonely Crowd."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:32 PM
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39

conformity as a way of establishing `in' and `out' groups

Which is why "rules" need to be more than code


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:33 PM
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40

Gray flannel optional, though.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:33 PM
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41

"Ludic diaphany" is pretty much synonymous with "slutty witty", is it not?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:33 PM
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maybe 1,000 people in the United States
Oh more than that. I have been to several white tie events. One with medals and tiaras, even. (Not usually worn by the same guest, but times change).


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:36 PM
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Paratactic anti-chic.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:36 PM
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40: "Gray flannel" s/b "trousers"


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:36 PM
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45

Which is why "rules" need to be more than code

Yes, exactly.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:37 PM
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I have been to several white tie events. One with medals and tiaras, even.

I've been to a morning-coats-and-tophats event before. I could even see the Queen, albeit at a great, great distance from me.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:39 PM
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conformity as a way of establishing `in' and `out' groups

That's a reason for making dress codes as explicit as possible, so that anyone can conform to them by following simple directions, and not have to interpret ambiguous ones in ways that are acceptable to people who share a particular mentality. (33 being an extreme example of the latter.)


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:41 PM
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48

"Ludic diaphany" is nice. "Rabelaisian sartorial" would also be fun.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:42 PM
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49

I can't tell whether I'm agreeing with 39.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:42 PM
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You are. Or at least I understand the two of you to be saying the same thing.

"Dress code" should be such that you could go to a store, say, I need something for a "natural glamor" event, and have the sales clerk know what you meant and sell you something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:45 PM
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Well, I agree with your 47, unless you mean "gentlemen please wear neckties" in eight point font at the bottom of the invite


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:45 PM
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34: You promised not to tell!


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:52 PM
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53

"Hieratic Butch"


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:53 PM
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54

basically conformity as a way of making people feel comfortable isn't completely horrible (if inherently boring) , conformity as a way of establishing `in' and `out' groups should be mocked at every opportunity.

But does that distinction really work? I kind of think "comfortable" there just means "secure that they're members of the in-group and not afraid of being seen as members of the out-group."


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:57 PM
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"Rabelaisian sartorial"
I would so go to that party


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:58 PM
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56

My vote goes for "Pellucid Geriatric."


Posted by: caldwellian | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 4:58 PM
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I kind of think "comfortable" there just means "secure that they're members of the in-group and not afraid of being seen as members of the out-group."

If one is "comfortable" enough it won't matter what you wear. The good hostess is trying to help the others.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:01 PM
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58

Pleats go with everything.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:07 PM
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59

If one is "comfortable" enough it won't matter what you wear. The good hostess is trying to help the others.

Trying to help the others do what? Trying to help the others who are concerned about their status in the group to demonstrate that they belong?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:09 PM
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Exactly. If the dress code is "Ugly Hawaiian Shirt" and that's explicitly conveyed to everyone, then the host has ensured that no one feels like an outsider by virtue of their dress.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:11 PM
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Trying to help the others who are concerned about their status in the group to demonstrate that they belong?

Put that way, yes. The good hostess wants her guests to feel comfortable, not ostracised.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:12 PM
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62

Juggernaut firm.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:13 PM
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63

That would be a great icebreaker at a party. "Now, to help everybody get to know everybody else, we give out the ostrakon."


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:14 PM
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60, 61: So are we agreeing that the distinction in 36 between good conformity and bad conformity doesn't really work?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:14 PM
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I'm othering y'all right now. Part of my twisted lifestyle is never dressing up. It's my way of being Amish, I guess. I just calculated that "formal casual" is the highest I could possibly rise. My childhood Lutheran church actually had a stated policy that no one had to dress up to go to church.

You may proceed to other me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:16 PM
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Priapic post-casual.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:17 PM
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Well, NPH if you are inviting members of an "out" group, whatever that means, then you are truly a generous host. Most people only invite friends and acquaintances, who would presumably be "in".


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:18 PM
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68

Transcendent metaformal.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:21 PM
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69

Spendthrift bucolic.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:22 PM
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I'm not inviting anybody, nor have I ever organized a gathering at which anyone cared what anyone else was wearing. I'm just trying to sort out what dress codes are supposed to be doing.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:22 PM
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It's easy enough to make the "out group" feel uncomfortable no matter the dress code, if one so desires, most commonly through pricing. Even if everyone is wearing suits, the schnoberistas can easily enough distinguish expensive labels and hand-tailoring from Mens' Warehouse off-the-rack. And an environment can be created in which the Mens' Warehouse off-the-rack feels conscious of that fact. I'm not sure that this environment is actually much more difficult to create than one in which someone feels uncomfortable because he's the only one without a jacket.

The dress "codes" days past didn't have this "problem"/feature because the formalwear was all sufficiently expensive that the peasantry didn't own any anyway. There weren't Mens' Warehouse off-the-rack white-tie equivalents, so to speak.

I'm not sure that made sense.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:22 PM
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Emerson, who are exactly the sort to whom I refer in 57. I doubt being under or overdressed for an occasion would be the source of your discomfort. The proximity to relationships would do you in.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:23 PM
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73

Pendulous cling.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:23 PM
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74

Dammit, one of these days I really will learn.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:24 PM
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75

My reunion was supposed to be "smart casual," which no one could understand. Most of the guys were okay in collared shirts and nice jeans or dress pants, but the women ran from momjeans and parka to, well, I was wearing hot pink tights and a shirt dress with a black and silver belt. I think I was the most not-smart-casual.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:25 PM
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76

smart casual
Eyeglasses and t shirts, or pocket protectors and cords?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:27 PM
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77

Aboriginal meatmarket.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:27 PM
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78

"mental whateverness casual"


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:27 PM
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73: Agh!

Teutonic supersonic.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:28 PM
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80

Colonial inclusive.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:29 PM
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81

Abattoir upscale.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:29 PM
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82

73. East German swimmer?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:29 PM
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83

Any dress code that uses the word "snappy" obviously wants people to bring castanets.

I confess that I have taken to writing "wear play clothes" on invitations to kid's birthday parties ever since we had a party with pumpkin carving and apple bobbing where one girl showed up in a very pretty, not-appropriate-for-messmaking party dress.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:30 PM
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84

"empire waste"


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:30 PM
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85

Eh, pretty kid dresses wash just like jeans these days. I bet the parents were fine with her getting pumpkiny.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:31 PM
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86

Prepubescent retro.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:32 PM
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87

Apo wins.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:34 PM
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88

Demotic Byrnesque.

I guess NYC dress codes should specify "no bangs."


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:34 PM
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89

87: No surprises there.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:35 PM
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90

85: I gave her PK's art smock to wear over it. No biggie, but you know how some kids are a little uncomfortable getting their "nice clothes" dirty.

This year I had to loan a kid a pair of PK's leggings and one of my camisoles (with straps tied short) after the water balloon fight, because she was so upset about being soaking wet. This, despite the fact that she was the one who *suggested* a water balloon fight.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:35 PM
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91

"The Warrior meets Boys Don't Cry"


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:36 PM
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92

because she was so upset about being soaking wet. This, despite the fact that she was the one who *suggested* a water balloon fight.

Yeah, women are fickle like that.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:37 PM
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93

a pair of PK's leggings

Um.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:37 PM
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93: Girls' leggings make excellent pajama pants, and they come in colors other than camoflage.

I also buy him girls' socks because of the color thing. Suck it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:38 PM
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95

Snappy --> clothing made of bubble wrap.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:38 PM
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96

Sweatpants, B. Leave the little guy some dignity.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:39 PM
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97

Oh, come on. Stretchy pants. Boys and girls wear them these days.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:39 PM
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87: I really wouldn't know how to dress for that.

Natural derelict.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:40 PM
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99

You can Derelicte my balls, okay?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:41 PM
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87. I think he gave us a clue in the sleepwalking thread.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:41 PM
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101

UnfoggeDCon will be "pensive cosmopolitan"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:41 PM
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102

Stretchy pants. Boys and girls wear them these days.

Must be a Manhattan thing. Out here in the outer boroughs, boys don't wear those.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:42 PM
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103

I really wouldn't know how to dress for that.

Naked.

89->93.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:42 PM
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104

96: He has enough dignity that he doesn't feel all emasculated just because some of his clothes come from the other side of the kids' department.

Also sweatpants are too warm to wear to bed around here.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:42 PM
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105

I'm trying to remember some of the weird-ass dress recommendations for parties I've been to, but I am thus far having no luck.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:43 PM
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104: he could wear grease-stained jeans to bed like a man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:43 PM
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107

And! The unexpected upside is that the girl who borrowed them was *much* happier when she realized that leggings, rather than PK's "boy pants" were an option. (I'd offered her his purple girl pants, but they were too small.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:44 PM
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108

the girl who borrowed them was *much* happier when she realized that leggings, rather than PK's "boy pants" were an option.

I wear women's underwear for the exact same reason.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:45 PM
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109

bitchphd hates grandchildren.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:45 PM
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110

108: miss, you've been in an accident! Here, wear these, they're pretty clean!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:45 PM
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111

Veiled resentment.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:48 PM
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112

Here, wear these, they're pretty clean! And they feel divine!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:48 PM
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113

I wear women's underwear for the exact same reason

Well, I wouldn't recommend a boy wearing girl's "boy shorts" but to each his own.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:48 PM
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114

108: Exactly! A gentleman is always prepared.

109: Dear god, it's pathetic how much I look forward to grandchildren, actually.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:48 PM
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115

114: maybe you can rent some, when the time comes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:49 PM
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116

Also I bought the young man a pair of women's arm-length white gloves today so that he'd actually be able to use his arms in his ghost costume.

Doubtless this will turn him gay.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:50 PM
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117

So anyway, why does Catherine hang around with the sort of people who send out invitations like that?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:51 PM
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118

117: They're work-related events, presumably.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:52 PM
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119

I was wondering the same thing as 117. I decided it's just further evidence that the east coast, and DC in particular, kind of suck.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:52 PM
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120

117: being the hottest press (off-air) personality in DC comes with certain responsibilities.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:52 PM
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121

Here, wear these, they're pretty clean! And they feel divine! And they make me feel like Divine, too!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:53 PM
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122

They're work-related events, presumably.

Not helping.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:55 PM
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123

Edgy-cute.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 5:58 PM
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124

Was it here that I read of the bride who ordered her guests to wear certain colors so as not to clash with her decor and color scheme?

I don't mind dress codes, or I don't when I know what they mean and it's for an occasion where people might not know what to expect, but 'snappy casual' seems to be saying that we don't care if you wear jeans long as we recognize the label.

A friend from college married last year, and I asked him what the dress code would be, to which he responded 'oh god let me ask my mother-in-law, I will be killed if you wear the wrong thing' which amused me to no end.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:01 PM
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As I understand it, the young staffer at the glamorous magazine who has awkward mishaps in trying to follow the rigorous fashion and etiquette rules created by a cryptic "in-group" of her superiors ends up all right in the end, and wins Meryl Streep's grudging respect.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:01 PM
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Tranny bombast.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:02 PM
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Pettable furry.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:03 PM
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128

I was once invited to a wedding which was "black tie optional". No specification what to wear if not black tie, so I wore black tie. I was the only one so dressed besides the groom.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:04 PM
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Fashion-forward airwolf.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:04 PM
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Tumescent Highlander.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:05 PM
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Angry, angry anglos.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:06 PM
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Otiose protodope.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:06 PM
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Tweedy fascist.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:06 PM
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Muddy mudskipper.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:06 PM
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"black tie optional"

This is a particular pet peeve of mine. In fact, no longer a pet I am raising it for show. Anyway, make up your mind. The hostess is not doing you a favor with the "optional" although she thinks she is. Clueless.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:07 PM
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There really is a lot of regional variation, isn't there? Around here, the major sartorial breakpoints are when you really ought to put on long pants and/or a collar. The PNW feels pretty similar, adjusted for climate. I can't think of many places up there where ties feel mandatory and can't imagine trying to establish a dress code for a party with friends.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:08 PM
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Prelapsarian foliage.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:08 PM
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"Black tie optional" means "we'd like it if you'd wear black tie, but we also know not everyone owns a dinner jacket." Chill out a little bit, people.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:09 PM
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Otiose protodope.

Monorchid mongoloid.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:09 PM
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Encrustation-free.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:09 PM
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Post-Katrina amphibious.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:09 PM
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Kike chic!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:09 PM
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I can't think of many places up there where ties feel mandatory

The Seattle Opera, dammit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:10 PM
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"Black tie optional" means "we'd like it if you'd wear black tie, but we also know not everyone owns a dinner jacket." Chill out a little bit, people.

Owns? I would interpret it as "Those with more money will rent tuxedos, those with less money or who don't give a damn will not."


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:10 PM
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Fusty curmudgeon


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:10 PM
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"Black tie optional" means "we'd like it if you'd wear black tie, but we also know not everyone owns a dinner jacket."

That just doesn't make much sense anymore when almost no one owns a dinner jacket except the often cummerbunded slol. It comes out meaning 'suit, except for the one poor schmuck who took it seriously and now feels like an idiot getting mistaken for the groom.'


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:10 PM
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Crotchless.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:11 PM
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Musties, fusties, and dusties.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:11 PM
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almost no one owns a dinner jacket

Crazy talk. I own a dinner jacket.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:11 PM
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144: I assume no one past the age of prom rents a tuxedo.

Though come to think of it, I think my dad maybe did at my wedding. Poor dad. Mighty good of him, given that he had to be bullied into wearing a tie at my graduation (not by me; by my aunt).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:11 PM
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Fusty curmudgeon

Crusty fur merchant.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:11 PM
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Eleemosynaric robust.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:12 PM
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128 is a real problem. It can be solved by asking the groom "are you encouraging as much penguin as possible, or is it just for the members of the party and a few other family members." Granted, that defeats the purpose of having transparent codes, but it's not an insurmountable conundrubajum.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:12 PM
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146: If the one man who bothers to dress formally for an evening wedding is mistaken for the groom, then the dress code is not the problem.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:13 PM
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Every tuxedo at my wedding was rented. It was the third time in shivbunny's dad's life that he wore a suit.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:13 PM
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I assume no one past the age of prom rents a tuxedo.

I honestly can't think of a non-classist way to interpret this statement. And with that, I leave the thread.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:13 PM
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I decided when I was in high school that I wanted my wedding to be white tie. I intend to stick to that.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:13 PM
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Inuit (formal).


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:13 PM
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Brachiating debutante.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:14 PM
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I do sort of get why grownups still like to play dressup, but the amount of time, money, and stress expended on it will never cease to amaze me.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:14 PM
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Tweedy academic!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:15 PM
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a non-classist way to interpret this statement

She doesn't know any better. She has a juicer.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:15 PM
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The Urban Dictionary entry is dissatisfyingly vague, and most of the other google hits seem to define "snappy casual" in terms of what it is not.

A document from Mississippi State's 4-H Congress, however, actually tries to provide some detail:

Snappy Casual : For girls - skirts or slacks with an appropriate blouse or shirt, leather shoes.
For guys - slacks, shirts without ties, leather shoes (lace-ups or loafers).


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:16 PM
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It comes out meaning 'suit

Then the invite should read "business attire". I am all in favor of dialing down the formality of many events, and understand that many (most) will only wear a tux for a wedding, but as we said earlier, clarity is better.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:17 PM
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160: It's because men don't get fun clothes, unless you're so fascinated by clothes that you can find your fun in minute subtleties. I generally don't have the guts to wear anything interesting, but decking yourself out prettily is fun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:17 PM
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I don't have a juicer! I wish I did, though.

I do not concede that it is classist to think that adults who occasionally enjoy a night out might be reasonably expected to own *one* piece of semiformal clothing. Furthermore, I bet that most women of *any* social class own a reasonable facsimile of a cocktail dress.

I regret, however, the implied insult to Cala's hubby's family; fwiw, I think my wedding may have been the *only* time in his life my dad wore a suit. Then again, my father deliberately cultivates his lower-middle class identity.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:18 PM
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Why would one not wear cowboy shirts with mother of pearl snaps and warm-up pants? Casual, snappy.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:20 PM
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"Cocktail attire" is better than "business attire", no? "Business attire" to me means "come in the suit you can wear to the office" and "cocktail attire" means "a little more razzle than you'd wear to work". Women get out of the suit and into the dress; men have plenty of overlap, but may choose darker colors or just a degree more fancy.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:20 PM
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167: Dude, you gotta wear jeans with the cowboy shirt. Not your *good* jeans, since it's casual and all, but come on.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:21 PM
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cultivates his lower-middle class identity

By spreading bull on it and irrigating liberally?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:21 PM
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165: Yeah, I get the fun part, and I think men get to play some too. What I don't get is the making a huge deal out of wearing the right clothes and endlessly parsing what's right. What's fun about anxiety?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:21 PM
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Furthermore, I bet that most women of *any* social class own a reasonable facsimile of a cocktail dress.

Depending on what you mean by "reasonable facsimile", I'd take that bet.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:23 PM
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I do not concede that it is classist to think that adults who occasionally enjoy a night out might be reasonably expected to own *one* piece of semiformal clothing. Furthermore, I bet that most women of *any* social class own a reasonable facsimile of a cocktail dress.

I would be amenable to smoothing out this inequality by making it standard practice for women to rent cocktail dresses as well.

I guess I just don't know what kind of affair people would be required to wear tuxedos to, anyway. Not any wedding I've ever been to, at least not any men except the ushers/groomsmen. Not any affair my dad has ever been to in his 30 years as a professor. But then I haven't entered adulthood yet. The concept of owning a tuxedo sounds literally laughable.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:24 PM
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Perhaps we should consult the master

http://manolomen.com/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:24 PM
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168: The problem is there's no such thing as "cocktail attire."

Seriously, the world would be a better place if we'd all just obey Miss Manners.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:24 PM
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I own a hand-me-down tuxedo and wear it about twice a year, I find. If, after prom, you find yourself required to wear a tux and can imagine having to wear one again before your shape changes dramatically, it makes more sense to buy one second-hand than to rent.

Classwise, if you're doing slightly better than Leonard Bast, it makes sense to own a tux.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:24 PM
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Oh, B, I didn't take it as an implied insult! The dude's a working class house builder. shivbunny had to pull the fiancee-will-be-sad-if-you-don't-dress-up card to get him to a) dress up and b) not dress up by buying a cheap suit.

But I do think it's a little classist; a nice enough suit to go out, even a cheap one, lots of people can own. But unlike a little black cocktail dress, which I can scale up or down with accessories, a tux is pretty much only good for very ritzy occasions (no guests at my wedding, e.g., wore tuxes.) If someone owns a tux, it's probably because they go to things with that dress code often enough to make it worthwhile to own one. It's a little closer to ballgown than cocktail dress in terms of fanciness.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:25 PM
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Speaking of cowboys, numismatic gaucho.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:25 PM
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I own a hand-me-down tuxedo and wear it about twice a year, I find.

What do you wear it to? Serious question. I think I come from an upper-middle-class family and I have never seen anyone in a tuxedo, even in a photograph, with the exception of wedding photos and the prom.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:25 PM
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A lot of it (IMO) is anxiety about projecting vanity or boastfulness. (This is heavily gendered, and I don't really know how it plays out for men.) Wearing pretty, formal clothes, for women, is a claim (a) that you have money to afford them, and (b) that you're attractive enough to be worth looking at in them. Both are implicit status claims. If you're significantly fancier than the other attendees at the party, you look full of yourself, and therefore like a jerk. If you're significantly less fancy, you look either low status (too poor to have nice clothes, or too ugly to make them worthwhile), or contemptuous of the event (I'm not putting myself out to look nice for you people). And getting it wrong in either direction makes you an outsider.

So there's a lot of tension on hitting a level of formality pretty squarely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:26 PM
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"wedding photos and the prom" s/b "weddings and the prom"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:28 PM
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61/71 Just wanting to follow up, ages after the thread left I know --- yes; but you are both correct in reading that.

What I meant was that accepting that some people feel a lot of social anxiety, it is nice of a hosts to say `this is what the event will be like, (implicitly -- if you dress like this you won't feel like you screwed up).

On the other hand, if someone (for whatever reason) does not dress that way there shouldn't be any social pressure to conform. Brock points out there are always ways to do this --- all of which point to underlying flaws.



Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:28 PM
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I think I come from an upper-middle-class family and I have never seen anyone in a tuxedo, even in a photograph, with the exception of wedding photos and the prom.

My dad used to wear them to charity events in the 80s -- the architectural firm he worked for would buy a table, and he and Mom would go. But I can't think of having seen someone in my generation wear one other than as a member of a wedding party.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:28 PM
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173: Mr. B. owns a dinner suit. He's worn it plenty.

171: The anxiety comes in when people try to invent crap like "snappy casual"; not in your standard "formal," "semiformal", "informal", and the concession of "black tie optional".

That and people getting weirded out when they *dress properly* (i.e., wearing black tie to a "black tie optional" invitation) simply because no one else has worn black tie.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:28 PM
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I'm glad I've never been invited to one of those weddings on the beach where the guests are expected to go barefoot.

Ha! I went to one of those a couple of years ago (west coast Canadians) and they'd said it was "dress up, you know what she's like." I should have known: it looked like a fairie festival crossed with a medieval jousting match.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:29 PM
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I'm sure I know people who own tuxes (it's never come up, though), but I don't think I'm related to anyone who does.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:30 PM
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Isn't it true that a tuxedo would be decidedly underdressed (or just incorrectly) for a fully formal event? I don't exactly have a wealth of experience to go on there, though, so I could be wrong.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:30 PM
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Ned, your experience is like mine. know two guys off the top of my head who own a tuxedo. One's a professional musician and the other was in four weddings in a row one summer and did the math. He was the best man at our wedding and had to rent a tux because his old tux no longer fit.

So maybe it's a regional thing.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:30 PM
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180: Every bit of that sounds exactly right, especially the "heavily gendered" part. Which sucks.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:31 PM
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Seriously, the world would be a better place if we'd all just obey Miss Manners. And her secret identity is revealed!

In truth, I agree. When people say "informal attire" for a function at night I get a perverse pleasure in asking if they really meant black tie. Formal, is white tie.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:31 PM
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Apparently people in California wear formal attire all the time and are anxious about enforcing this norm, while East Coast people are way more laid-back.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:31 PM
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I did wear a tux to my sister's wedding, but I was a groomsman.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:31 PM
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187: I think the number of 'fully formal events' by that standard in the US in a given year is about 15, and if you're not in an embassy or at a debutante ball, you don't need to worry about finding yourself at one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:32 PM
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Speaking of dressing appropriately, I took someone's advice and wore a decent shirt and blazer to my date the other night. With the blazer cuff buttons undone, of course, the better to display my manly wrists. Can't have hurt.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:32 PM
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Ned my boy, wear a tuxedo to breakfast at Denny's and make everyone think twice. I think LB is right in that there is a fair amount of signalling going on in specific dress codes. But an old girlfriend of mine told me if men knew how good they looked in tuxes they would wear them all the time.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:33 PM
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194: yes but then there was the legal trouble.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:33 PM
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most women of *any* social class own a reasonable facsimile of a cocktail dress

Truly, you are insane.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:35 PM
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177: Agree entirely. Which is why I'm okay with the whole "black tie optional" thing as meaning, for god's sake don't go out and rent a tux; your best suit will be just fine.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:35 PM
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There's a guy who wanders my neighborhood in a tuxedo and has for years. Whether he's homeless and mentally ill or just very eccentric I've never been sure.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:35 PM
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174 is funny. It's a blog, I thought it would be a commercial website.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:36 PM
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198->197.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:36 PM
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197: ? If this sounds weird, I think you don't know what a cocktail dress is. It's an ordinary grownup woman's dressup dress -- not an evening gown, but what you'd wear to an indoor party. Most women have a party dress.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:36 PM
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The only person I know who owns a tux is one who bought rather than rented one for a wedding one time, believing that renting clothing was only for teenagers. I'm pretty sure he hasn't worn it since.

I've thought about buying one several times, because it seems like the sort of thing that would be nice to own, but then I remember that I'd have no occassion to wear it, ever.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:37 PM
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The only person I know who owns a tux is one who bought rather than rented one for a wedding one time, believing that renting clothing was only for teenagers. I'm pretty sure he hasn't worn it since.

He made the mistake of listening to B.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:37 PM
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193: Yeah, that's pretty much what I meant. I've been to one white-tie event (in borrowed clothing) but I think I was the only one there who wasn't wearing their own tailored clothing, mostly designer. I've been to a really weird range of parties though.

It's an interesting class marker. I mean, do you think a) a tuxedo is formal? b) a rented tux is acceptable? c) a tux is the hieght of formality d) white splatterpainted tuxedo is best ?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:37 PM
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You can tell the cheap facsimile dresses by the fact that they're all white on the back.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:37 PM
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I've been to two barefoot-type weddings, and they were both absolutely lovely.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:38 PM
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As a committee member of a particular university society as an undergrad, I had to wear a tux every saturday night during term. As a result I had an astonishing collection of chicks bowties, only one of which I still own.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:39 PM
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196: There's not a "pants law" anymore, thank you very much, Justice Holmes.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:40 PM
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What do you wear it to?

Weddings, charity events, Halloween. I've only needed it for my own wedding, so it's possible that I wouldn't have got one if it hadn't been a hand-me-down. TLL's 195 has encouraged me to get it out whenever it's appropriate.

I worked for an elected official and attended occasional "formal" events; had I not owned a tux, a black suit would have been fine. I once went in a tux to a "black-tie" event where no one else wore a tux; it was a labor event, and the union officials who put it on took "black tie" to mean "wear a tie".

And I've probably been to four or five weddings where either all of my cousins were going black tie or the groom was eager to have as many people tuxing it up as possible.

I've never worn it to the opera, though.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:40 PM
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You wore colored bowties with a tux? You cad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:40 PM
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202: Exactly. By "reasonable facsimilie of a cocktail dress" I mean "a sheath, or otherwise knee-length dress, with or without sleeves, in a nice fabric."

205: A rented tux is *acceptable*, sure--I don't care where you get your clothing. But I'm told they fit poorly and ime they're often kinda yukky fabrics. And I think that men shouldn't be expected to pay whatever a tux rental costs ($50? $100?) every time they go to a formalish event, for heaven's sake.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:42 PM
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I'm all in favor of the tuxedos-with-normal-looking-ties thing. Bowties are silly.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:42 PM
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You wore colored bowties with a tux? You cad.

You have no idea. I should take a photo of the remanining one.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:43 PM
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I think that men shouldn't be expected to pay whatever a tux rental costs ($50? $100?) every time they go to a formalish event, for heaven's sake.

Surely not. Rather, they should be expected to pay whatever a tux costs to purchase ($500? $1000?) for the one or two times in their life they are likely to have occassion to wear one.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:44 PM
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205: Yeah, I meant in that sense --- rentals have to usually fit badly, and are made with longevity in mind. So as a class marker, I just meant the difference between teasing all your friends in the wedding party, vs. being the only one wearing a tux that didn't fit well, vs. .. etc.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:45 PM
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211: For my wedding, my sister sewed iridescent red and orange bowties for my groom's men-and-women, and a blue one for me. I still use them occasionally.

212: You can rent a perfectly good tux, but the second part is true -- you can find a used tux for the price of an expensive rental.

Of course, even then you could find yourself in the hands of a little drama queen like my bassist who made all his groomsmen wear the specific tux and accessories that he indicated in a 9-page pdf.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:45 PM
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Mr. B. has worn his to weddings, the opera, the symphony (and yes, he has also worn a dark business suit and tie to both of those as well), and to military events, "lots of parties," dinner, awards banquets. So there.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:45 PM
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The crossover point is pretty low -- I think Dad bought when he figured that he'd need it once a year.

Really, the problem is that they've almost but not entirely dropped out of use. They should either drop out completely, or become commoner party wear.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:46 PM
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And I think that men shouldn't be expected to pay whatever a tux rental costs ($50? $100?) every time they go to a formalish event, for heaven's sake.

Not to sound like Economics 101, but this is true for men who will attend formal events often enough that the price of buying the tux is less than the price of the eventual rentals, while it is not true for men who would end up paying more for the tux than they would eventually pay in rentals.

As for the fit and the yucky materials -- if I don't know what I'm missing then what I have is perfectly fine.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:46 PM
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215: Or they can do the all-to-common: find or make up some scottish ancestry and doing the kilt thing, that way they have weddings and funerals covered in one go.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:46 PM
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220: voila --- class marker.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:47 PM
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219 is right. That's part of the problem I have with buying one: I think if I did so, I'd start wearing it everywhere, and would frequently be the only one doing so. Which would make me seem weird.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:48 PM
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Why rent when you can buy it cheaper?

I'm sure you can improve on the quality, but there you go. 215 is silly: you should only spend top dollar on a tux if you're rich and are going to have heavy demand from snobby people to wear it. As much as I've worn mine, I've never been at an event where tux quality was much remarked upon or noticed.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:49 PM
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223: weird is almost always good in this sense.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:49 PM
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220 neglects the time value of money. AND the option value inherent in the rentals (the one you bought 5 years ago may not fit now, and styles also subtely change). Considering these factors, I propose that there are very few men for whom it makes pure economic sense to own a tux.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:50 PM
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only spend top dollar on a tux

215 is hardly top dollar, although I guess you can get some cheaper.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:52 PM
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224 to 227.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:52 PM
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You can get a pretty classic cut of tuxedo that will outlive the fashion changes. You may have more fun renting what's on the bleeding edge of fashion. Actually, I think I would like to rent what's on the bleeding edge of fashion, and maybe I will the next time the situation permits.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:53 PM
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224 to 227.

?? No, 227 to 224.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:53 PM
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228 to 230.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:55 PM
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224 ⇔ 227.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:56 PM
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233!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:57 PM
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207:

I've been to two barefoot-type weddings, and they were both absolutely lovely.

Did the women who attended these events own a reasonable facsimile of a party dress, aka a cocktail dress?

(Fight! Fight!)

(Seriously, I'm just scrolling back and forth through this thread, don't really mean to fight about the cocktail dress thing, or the class thing, which I'm really not following. Which is upthread anyway.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:57 PM
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I bought my first tuxedo (used) in high school to wear to a charity event. Wore it all through college (concert choir) and found it to be an excellent investment. I have since bought two others due to fit (ahem), but I probably wear it three times a year. Also have my own opera pumps.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:57 PM
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Be careful scrolling back and forth through this thread. There's a nasty loop about nine comments back. You could get stuck.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:58 PM
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I love how the subject of formal dress can run up an Unfogged thread faster than almost any subject outside anal sex and food.

I own two tuxes: one with tails, which my mother found in an antique store when I was in high school, and which I first wore to my prom; and another without, which I bought secondhand when I was doing choral concerts, and the tails consistently stood out for their formality. For my wedding, I had to rent a morning coat. I've worn both tuxes numerous times, mostly either singing or, more rarely, attending concerts; if one is neither a choral singer or a classical music critic, one can generally get by just fine in the Pacific Northwest without formal dress.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:58 PM
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236 loop s/b l∞p 236


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 6:59 PM
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Oh yeah, I bought tails for prom at Burning Man for twenty-five bucks. Can't wait to try them out in the civilian world.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:00 PM
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Cryptic Ned ... or Glyphtic Ned?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:01 PM
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All right. I told myself if I got two comments in a row I would get on my bicycle and go someplace. At least it's dark now. Later.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:02 PM
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∝⇒¬∀∃∉ℕ∮⊧⊧⊧⊧


Posted by: ℂryptic ℕed | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:03 PM
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Wrongshore brings up a good point: unless you absolutely must have a bespoke tux, it's insane not to buy secondhand, and very nice ones can be had quite cheaply. It's not as though the average used tux shows much wear.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:04 PM
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Not wearing a tux when you can afford one is oppressing the poor. They think constantly of having tuxes and are heartbroken that they don't.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:05 PM
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242 nails it.

Thesis: when it comes to formalwear, the difference between cheap and expensive is greater for men's than for women's clothing.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:07 PM
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244: Also, not owning an electric juicer when you can afford one is oppressing the Florida orange growers.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:08 PM
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Wrongshore, I keep forgetting you're a burner. Type. Person. I don't know why that is.

Yes, second-hand dress-up is the way to go. Enjoy your bicycle ride.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:09 PM
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My brother the ex-shoe salesman said that women's shoes were mostly junk because they were only built to be worn a few times, at the rare appropriate occasions before the window of fashion slammed shut on them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:09 PM
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Finally, I will take a stab at interpreting the codes mentioned in the original post, after being surprised that nobody in the thread has done that.

"snappy casual" = "looks cheap but we should be able to tell that it's actually expensive"
"snappy chic" = "expensive, but flimsy"
"natural glamour" = "sundresses"


Posted by: ℂryptic ℕed | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:09 PM
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Enjoy your bicycle ride.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:10 PM
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Of course, even then you could find yourself in the hands of a little drama queen like my bassist who made all his groomsmen wear the specific tux and accessories that he indicated in a 9-page pdf.

Awesome. Ly horrible.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:11 PM
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I feel so out-classed. So the breakdown for guys is as follows?

(a) Formal - some military outfit or tails

(b) Semi-formal - tuxedo or really nice suit and tie (w/cummerbund if slol)

(c) Business casual - khakis/dress pants, shirt w/collar, probably no tie

(d) Informal - same as (c) with allowances down into nicer pairs of jeans

Did I come anywhere near close?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:12 PM
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248. That explains it. Not to be all late night comedy, but my wife goes through shoes like nobodies business. And I mean worn out, not just discarded as no longer fashionable. I keep a pair of shoes for years, getting new soles and heels as appropriate.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:12 PM
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Nobel Prize winners are required to dress for the occasion -- the rules are strict. Motherfuckin' Swedes! When someone fails to accept in person, except for political prisoners, my guess is that that's why.

When Beckett was awarded the Nobel his wife saw the news first and said "What a disaster!" She wasn't kidding, and he was of the same mind. B is all wrong about formal dress.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:16 PM
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I wear my shoes out pretty quickly, too, even with getting new soles and heels (where possible), even though I also rotate through more different pairs at any given time than Snarkout does. I walk a lot, but also the shoes are just flimsier.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:17 PM
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I like B's idea of trusting Miss Manners as a guide to etiquette more than John's proposal to use Samuel Beckett.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:18 PM
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My aunt gave us about 20 pairs of high quality, stylish, seldom-worn shoes that didn't fit her daughter. Or my sisters either and my sisters really liked them too. Some retro babe really cleaned up at the Goodwill.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:19 PM
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Oh, envy! Stylish shoes from the middle of the twentieth century on back are so great, and they wear, too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:21 PM
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Business causal would be a nice party.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:21 PM
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My brother also reported that there indeed are women who try on multiple pairs of shoes while wearing short skirts and no panties. He also reported that, while shoe salesmen have very low standards, they're not quite that low. (My suspicion is that the salesmen were more likely to fall when there was only one salesman in the store, so that the shoe-dog code of honor wouldn't kick in.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:23 PM
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while shoe salesmen have very low standards, they're not quite that low.

why is that low standards? Maybe guys who date pantie-wearing women have low standards.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:26 PM
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250: I've always considered my fondness for my bike to be a bit decadent, as with much of the pleasure one takes from possessions. But I'm not that bad.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:26 PM
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Maybe YOU are the low panties!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:27 PM
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260: there indeed are women who

I have never heard of this, and had no idea that it was something that needed to be either confirmed or denied.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:27 PM
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They have special ways of amusing themselves during the long winters in Lake Wobegone, where all the men are strong, all the children are above average, and all the women are shoe-shopping without underpants.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:30 PM
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Stylish shoes from the middle of the twentieth century on back are so great, and they wear, too.

This is true. Fashion in female shoes is trending backward (well, it always does), and the classics stand up to scrutiny.

Ahem. What I mean is that I have like half a dozen pairs of shoes garnered from various thrift stores over the years that are Just .. Fucking .. Great. Strong and true shoes, fashionable again, to my, at this point, not terribly surprised amusement. I wear them when they're not hideously out of fashion, then wait, then wear them again. Is funny.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:31 PM
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264: somebody doesn't read enough bad porn. A common failing in women.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:33 PM
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This was in uber-hip Portland Oregon, albeit during its pre-hip phase.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:34 PM
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IA is a good Catholic girl. No one ever told her anything about these things, and she is not curious about the carnal desires of the hell-bound many.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:36 PM
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267: Guilty as charged.

268: Oh, well, Portland Oregon. In Lake Wobegone, surely, the women go shoe-shopping in down-filled parkas and long underwear.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:37 PM
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the hell-bound many

Nice. I'm a little surprised that IA has a kid, frankly.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:38 PM
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Wearing one's panties around one's knees is the next big trend.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:39 PM
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272: But it's so much work to pull them up from my ankles. Damn fashion trends.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:40 PM
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Soon panties will be designed for that, but so far you have to make do.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:41 PM
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Even the word "panties" gives me a little frisson.

Probably shouldn't admit that.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:41 PM
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You have to keep your legs A-frame to keep from suffering, Stanley. The Bangles have a new hit out, "Walk Like A Sawhorse" celebrating the trend.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:42 PM
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I take back the last post. I don't know what I was thinking.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:42 PM
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OK, I have to go and bake some bluefish now. Bye!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:43 PM
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You were thinking of girls wearing panties. It's okay, marcus.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:43 PM
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Marcus, perhaps you should quit your high-powered job and sell shoes.

Door to door shoe salesman are the ones who really get the action, especially if they advertise.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:43 PM
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"Bake some bluefish". Haven't heard that euphemism before. Bullheads, maybe.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:45 PM
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I'm a little surprised that IA has a kid, frankly.

Parents often feel the same way regarding the children they find themselves after having.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:48 PM
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271: You're all on crack. In the RC scheme of things, marriage is not only a license, but even implies a legal obligation (in a natural law sense, I mean) to go forth and fruitfully multiply, the better to fill the world with more Catholics.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:50 PM
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My dipshit brother-in-law recently expressed incredulity and a bit of outrage at the way his girlfriend keeps having all these babies. Umm, dude?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:52 PM
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Submit it to the Onion - "Why do all these women keep getting impregnated by me?"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:53 PM
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Wait, this guy is married to your sister but keeps having babies with his girlfriend?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:54 PM
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286: No.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:54 PM
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Yeah, the worst part is how indiscreet she is about it, even though she knows he's married.

Or "brother-in-law" could also mean "wife's brother".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:55 PM
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Incurious though she is, IA is law-abiding. She was initially shocked, but once she read the contract and some supplementary material she fulfilled her duties.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:55 PM
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But since you're here again, the post title is very nicely done.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:55 PM
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Or "brother-in-law" could also mean "wife's brother".

Oh, right.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:58 PM
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the post title is very nicely done

I think I'm supposed to ban you now.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 7:59 PM
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The post title is snappy semi-business casu-form.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:01 PM
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I thought I'd abused you enough recently to be allowed to throw you a bone. But ban me if you must!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:01 PM
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Business casuist?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:03 PM
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294: Banning would be an injustice. There is no unfogged rule against being patronizing.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:03 PM
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289: I know my duty. Just lie back and think of England the Opeongo Line.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:06 PM
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Dress codes are great because its a rule to break, and breaking rules is lots of fun. WHich is why i don't plan on swearing in front my kids.

And 'mocking in group lines' isn't going to make them go away, you fucking hippies.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:07 PM
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I wouldn't rule break at someone-else's wedding, because its dumb to steal the show at their wedding.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:08 PM
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I do favour encouraging the lazy to dress better. And mocking people who don't dress up, archetypically fuckers who don't wear halloween costumes or who go as 'john doe' or some shit.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:10 PM
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Any other thoughts you want to share with us, yoyo?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:11 PM
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Since Not Prince Hamlet is here, I'll cop to this:

I saw this movie poster and my first thought was Not Prince Hamlet?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:12 PM
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...whose halloween costume was bad-ass.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:13 PM
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I like yoyo's strategy of waiting until 9 or 10 PM every day and then posting on every thread at once. I hope to have the self-control to do that someday, when I have a computer at home.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:14 PM
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A lot of it (IMO) is anxiety about projecting vanity or boastfulness. (This is heavily gendered, and I don't really know how it plays out for men.) Wearing pretty, formal clothes, for women, is a claim (a) that you have money to afford them, and (b) that you're attractive enough to be worth looking at in them. Both are implicit status claims. If you're significantly fancier than the other attendees at the party, you look full of yourself, and therefore like a jerk. If you're significantly less fancy, you look either low status (too poor to have nice clothes, or too ugly to make them worthwhile), or contemptuous of the event (I'm not putting myself out to look nice for you people). And getting it wrong in either direction makes you an outsider.

this sounds like basic self esteem needed to go out in public. honest question: do people go out thinking they are 'not worth looking at'? Wouldn't you just not go out?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:14 PM
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Who is this Neil Patrick Harris poseur anyway?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:14 PM
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i don't plan on swearing in front my kids

The best-laid plans of mice and men, and even of unfogged commenters, often go awry.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:15 PM
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I was about to ask the same thing you, Not Prince Hamlet.


Posted by: Doogie Howser | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:16 PM
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Um, sometimes i am not around to participate in real-time. Isn't that one of the prime advantages of interwbconversation over real ones? I could leave my mobile # with someone so you could call me if you want my thoughts when im away.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:16 PM
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But small kids are really good mimics, so the humor value of swearing around them is high.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:16 PM
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I'm only halfway through this thread, btw.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:17 PM
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i don't plan on swearing in front my kids

Yeah, god forbid their little ears hear the word "fuck".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:17 PM
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Ow! My freakin' ears!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:18 PM
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310: When my niece was about 3 or 4, she put her hands on her hips and said "Mom, you exasperate me!"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:18 PM
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Well, I haven't sworn aroudn my parents, ever. Thats a like a decade and a half, and 8 years or so was when i lived around them.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:18 PM
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I could leave my mobile # with someone so you could call me if you want my thoughts when im away.

"Quick, we need some words on abnormal bathroom fixtures. Make it spontaneous and snappy."


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:19 PM
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312: gswift my kids are reading this thread.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:19 PM
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305: do people go out thinking they are 'not worth looking at'? Wouldn't you just not go out?

A poor self-image doesn't prevent one from getting hungry, or one's trash cans from filling up.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:19 PM
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Ow! My freakin' ears!

But they're so cute and little! How can anyone resist giving them a loving little tweak?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:20 PM
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317: If they're past fifth grade they're probably already pregnant anyway.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:20 PM
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Any one of you kind and classy gents want to answer my #252?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:21 PM
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...you, too, laydeez.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:21 PM
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321: yeah, sure, fine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:24 PM
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often go awry.

GANG AFT AGLEY, thankyouverymuch.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:24 PM
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Making everyone wear indicated tux & accessories is like an inverse classmarker. And i like to think noone wears tuxes anymore because weddings are usually held in the afternoon now.

312, you missed the point entirely.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:24 PM
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321: I know nothing, but it seems to me that there's a level below tuxedo but above business casual.

There's also a bottom "grunge" / "anarchist" level that should be listed for completeness.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:25 PM
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because weddings are usually held in the afternoon now

Oh are they.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:26 PM
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318: Chinese delivers now,


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:26 PM
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312, you missed the point entirely.

Bah. Not swearing in front of the kids is pure lame.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:27 PM
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there's a level below tuxedo but above business casual.

Yeah, I'm really not sure where "a good suit" fits in if semi-formal = a tux.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:27 PM
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'Business wear' is suits. 'Informal', oddly, means the same thing as 'Semi-formal'. And there's no such thing as 'Business casual'


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:31 PM
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Dressing up: can be fun!

Asking your friends to play dressup with you: can be fun!

Looking down on people who don't play dressup according to your standards: not cool!

Expecting strangers to conform to your standards when you want to play dressup: not cool!

And, just to bring it back on topic, making the dressup game as hard as possible to make sure that only the right sort of people can play: definitely not cool.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:33 PM
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332 is just way to glib


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:39 PM
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331: Thanks, LB. Now I'm just hoping this music thing pans out. I can't stand to imagine being a real grown-up.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:43 PM
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I think that the inclusion of a "grunge" level would help snap the other categories in place. And perhaps a "wino" level below that.

See, it's a structure, not just a collection of individual dress codes. The grunge and wino slots make all the others possible.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:46 PM
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And there's no such thing as 'Business casual'

As Crgre Jvyyneq once wrote:

Define business-casual...uh-huh...WEAR A SUIT.

Yeh, what Tamara said!

Also:

[Matt McIrvin, alt.religion.kibology, Sat, 07 Apr 2001 03:05:00 GMT]
>The entire concept of "business casual," actually, strikes me
>as a bizarre head game in and of itself.

YES!!! IT!!! IS!!! Just remember the Talking Heads song "Crosseyed and Painless" (Lost my shape/trying to act casual)!!!
IMPORTANT: Anyone who uses a phrase like "business casual" *expects* suit-level formality and probably has other bad habits you'll get to find out ALL about.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:47 PM
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i don't plan on swearing in front my kids

I just want my kids to be able to swear properly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:51 PM
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I'd like to (quietly and politely, and tentatively, if need be) propose that the objection to "business casual" is a form of class snobbery in reverse.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:53 PM
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337: So in NC, that's "Fuck all ya'll" and not "Fuck yous guys", right?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:53 PM
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My parents didn't swear when I was growing up and I was cuss-impaired until I was 16. Now they try and adopt my swearing and it's painful to hear.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:53 PM
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the objection to "business casual" is a form of class snobbery in reverse.

Which direction is that? I don't get it.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:55 PM
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They say that there's a window of childhood when children's brains have cussing-plasticity, and if you miss that window, they'll be cussing impaired. Like a foreigner.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:57 PM
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Swearing is a family tradition. My grandfather worked in the shipyards in the Bay Area, and my dad was swearing so much as a child that some of the moms in the neighborhood wouldn't let their kids play with him. My grandmother also told stories of how the men at the general store her father owned would pay her brother to say "The Kaiser is a son of a bitch."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 8:57 PM
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I swore in front of my son as a child, but he never swore in front of me. I think that he understood it as an adult privilege. I was sort of disappointed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:01 PM
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332:

NPH is my kind of people. Wholly in virtue of his use of the term "play dressup."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:02 PM
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My grandfather worked in the shipyards in the Bay Area

Yours too? I think my mom's lack of swearing is an overreaction from her father's mouth. Racist cocksucker, too.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:02 PM
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We're very explicit that it's an adult privilege. Not that it's a big deal if he does it, but he understands that it's inappropriate.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:02 PM
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I think my mom's lack of swearing is an overreaction from her father's mouth. Racist cocksucker, too.

A touch rude to speak of your mum that way, FM.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:03 PM
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Racist cocksucker, too.

Heh. Yeah, my grandfather had a streak of that too. Naturally his daughter married and had a couple kids with a black guy.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:04 PM
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HOLY FUCKING EARTHQUAKE!!!

(Not the big one, I don't think...)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:06 PM
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Earthquake! Woo!


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:08 PM
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Let's hope not. And watch out for the next round for a bit yet.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:08 PM
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Last year the pregnancy website read:
by now your baby's ears are fully develeoped and can hear sounds outside the womb and I realized my baby had heard "fuck" about 47 times, and I gave up.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:08 PM
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Pwned. Not the big one, no, unless it happened in Walnut Creek or something.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:08 PM
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(Not the big one, I don't think...)

You probably won't be wondering when the Big One hits. I remember Northridge, Whittier, etc. Good times.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:09 PM
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350> What?


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:09 PM
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353: Don't sweat it, that's probably how he/she got there in the first place anyway.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:10 PM
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That was a pretty boring earthquake.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:10 PM
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Not very big.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:12 PM
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I find it somewhat amusing that Unfogged has scooped all of the major news sources on the earthquake.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:12 PM
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That was the best quake since I've been here. Though I missed the one this summer because I was out of town.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:12 PM
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Wow... happened in San Jose. 5.6.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:12 PM
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Not very big.

5.6 is respectable.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:13 PM
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Any news about the quake yet?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:13 PM
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363: wuss. 5.6 is fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:14 PM
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Bush screwed up the earthquakes like everything else.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:16 PM
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5.6 is respectable, but I won't have to call family.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:16 PM
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5.6 is fun.

In CA maybe. In a country with a lot of unreinforced concrete 5.6 kills a lot of people.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:17 PM
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I thought Loma Prieta was fun. 5.6 is better than average though. San Andreas? When the hayward goes, that'll be that for the BA.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:18 PM
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In CA maybe. In a country with a lot of unreinforced concrete 5.6 kills a lot of people.

Okay, Debbie Downer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:18 PM
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You're all very tough, but quakes scare the shit out of me; it's hard to process the fact that the ground isn't stable.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:20 PM
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I'd rather people not joke too much about the Hayward, please.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:21 PM
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I've always wanted to have a formal day wedding, but I don't think that there are any American men who own grey-striped trousers. My mother's father wore a morning-coat to her wedding in the early 70's, and he was the only person who did. Reagan (like Kennedy) work morningwear at his first inaugural in 81. In 85 he just wore a dark suit, and that was at an important and solemn event.

In college a lot of guys had tuxedos, because there were a fair number of events that were black tie, and it was cheaper than renting. I know some people who have a ball and used to go waltzing a lot, and they use their tuxedos regularly. Tuxedos are nice, because you can keep wearing the same one without anyone noticing. Men's fashion isn't exactly fickle, but wearing the same suit all the time does show after a while.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:22 PM
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My mother swore a bit, just the common words, and only when really mad. My father didn't. So it's easy for me not to.

I wear khakis with a button down shirt, usually not white, sometimes with but usually without a jacket. That's business casual most places I've worked lately.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:22 PM
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Swearing is a family tradition.

My parents didn't swear, exactly (never the F-word), but cursed like a couple of drunken sailors on French leave. In the words of Irving Layton, they loved God but cursed extravagantly his creatures.

The family tradition is to invoke one of the three parts of the Trinity, or perhaps the mother of a saint, as relevant. "Christ, but that arsehole almost cut me off on the freeway." "Mother of Ste Anne de Beaupré, but aren't those flowers lovely?" "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, child, but you'd drive a saint to drink."

It's not entirely clear whether they are swearing, or cursing, or just praying.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:23 PM
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A friend's 4 year old: "You fucking mommy!" Dad: K, do you want to take this one?
I learned from my kid that , aside from the occasional cussing, I'll say "Aint nobody gonna X" for emphasis, or "Oh hell naw" for incredulity, tics I didn't know I had.
Getting close to the family circle singularity, worried that it's essential.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:23 PM
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You're all very tough, but quakes scare the shit out of me

Helps to grow up with them. You start pushing up into that upper 6 range though and that's bad times. Northridge was my senior year. 7.5 or 8 must be incredibly bad.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:24 PM
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Up and down earthquake, or nice rolling earthquake?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:26 PM
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As I just said to someone in an email, the first tremor sounded like an elephant landed on the roof.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:28 PM
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Earthquakes provide fodder for older brothers. A few days after Whittier, I drummed my fists on the front door to make the front rooms vibrate. My younger brothers and sisters ran screaming into the hallways. My mom was not amused. My friend, also the oldest son, did the same thing, but by climbing up to the roof and using his feet.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:28 PM
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"brother and sisters"


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:29 PM
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Big map makes it look quite substantial.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:30 PM
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First one I felt was not long after moving to the LA area. Seem to feel them, more than any other time, in bed... ladies.

Though one time was at Ikea (interestingly, while sitting on a sofa-bed).

Most memorable was at work: we had an incredibly sheltered guy in our research group (afraid of packing tape dispenser) who asked me if he should get under his desk in the event of another earthquake. I responded yes, and he asked if he should have a helmet, too, in case he hit his head on the bottom of the desk.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:31 PM
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I seem to have had a solemn, solicitous, deeply Canadian older brother, who wouldn't have done things like that.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:31 PM
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"Bake some bluefish". Haven't heard that euphemism before.

No euphemism! There was real bluefish involved. Turned out OK, but I didn't really think seriously enough about the problem of preventing the dark, oily parts of the fish from tasting really, really fishy. I like fishy fish, so I figured, what's the problem? But there was a bit of a problem. I slathered lots of mustard on.

Had some white wine with it too, so I'm more verbose now.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:32 PM
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"Oh hell naw" for incredulity

Now there's a good one.

It was pointed out to me that I usually swear like a grandmother, and I now think that that grandmother was probably my great-grandmother who lived and died in western North Carolina. I say "fuck" mostly for comedic effect, and never "shit" - when surprised or frustrated I say "Dang it", "Consarn it', "Goodness", and "Heavens", usually.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:32 PM
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This feels very weird hearing about a quake this way.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:33 PM
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Rolling. Pretty weak up here near San Francisco, but reports from Menlo Park were more impressive.

Good example of the whole rich state with a culture of competence though. The California Seismic Network had the location on the internet more or less immediately and the magnitude within ten minutes.

Also, one thing that always gets me when traveling outside of California is how spindly the freeway overpasses are. Aren't people worried that they're going to fall down?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:33 PM
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I tend to break out "Oh Jeez!" a lot. I am not Minnesotan.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:34 PM
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Earthquake, eh?

The supplier/conglomerate I've been trying to call on the phone all week has a phone message saying that their tech support people will probably not be available because of wildfires. Even though they're based in San Jose, not SoCal. I was just getting confident that they would become accessible. Wonder if I should expect another 10 days of radio silence from their tech crew.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:34 PM
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Shavings!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:35 PM
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What shocked me when I first traveled outside California was, well, brick. I stayed a summer in Boston and spent the first week freaking the fuck out about the buildings' seismic vulnerability.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:36 PM
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There's a noticeable one in the Chicago area every so often. Last one I remember was in the eighties. My mother-in-law remembered one in the sixties. She couldn't believe she had just seen the bookcases hop, and thought she must have imagined it, when she heard water slopping in the toilet bowl.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:36 PM
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When I started my job, we had a team-building exercise where we had to imagine an earthquake hit the building and had to answer a series of multiple-choice questions about what we'd do to survive. Wrong choices, you'd end up dead. You answered the survey once by yourself and then another time by discussing the questions with a group. The point was supposed to be that the group scores were always higher than the individual scores so Yay Teamwork. Only, having grown up with a mother who was very concerned with disaster preparedness and being stuck in a group full of men who didn't want to listen to the only woman, I ended up with a perfect score on my individual survey and my group died.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:36 PM
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5.6 is a good shake, enough to be memorably exciting, but not enough (at least in a place with a decent building code, as gswift mentioned) to be too threatening. They're pretty thrilling; my favorite was one of about the same magnitude during an English class in Japan just as we were wrapping up a discussion about...earthquakes!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:37 PM
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What shocked me when I first traveled outside California was, well, brick. I stayed a summer in Boston and spent the first week freaking the fuck out about the buildings' seismic vulnerability.

Ha, never heard this, but have seen people from SoCal get horrified by the pile of dead branches and leaves at the end of my parents' street. "Who's in charge of taking all that down to the municipal mulcher?" "We would probably get a ten-thousand-dollar fine for leaving that tinder lying around."


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:37 PM
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Aren't people worried that they're going to fall down?

I have noticed that in other places, people do not know!!! whether the masonry building is reinforced. This makes me very nervous.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:38 PM
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Back from celebrating keeping the daughter's boyfriend out of jail. I ought to buy a tux, because if I had one, I'd go to things where they wear them. So long as I can still wear boots. Some things are non-negotiable.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:40 PM
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St Louis, close to the New Madrid fault, has lots of old brick buildings-- er, masonry (pronounced how, I've only heard masonary spoken as a nail adjective). Quakes to tinkle the plates and glasses every few years. Apartments with high ceilings, radiators, big double-hung sash windows. Nice.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:42 PM
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So long as I can still wear boots.

CharleyCarp lives in the West, which is east of here.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:43 PM
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398: details, by god. Details.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:43 PM
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A quake of the magnitude of 1811's, on the New Madrid fault in Southeastern Missouri, with which we are connected tight as a drum, would devastate Chicago. Think of the high-rises extending with only a road's width between them, extending up Lakeshore drive for miles, each with different moments and periods, so that on the same impulse they would start crashing into one another.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:43 PM
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My favorite earthquake was in late October 1983. I was lying on the floor, dozing late into the morning, listening to the radio: the reporter was reading the latest news from Grenada while playing Just Give Me Some Truth in the background. Then, wham: 7.3.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:47 PM
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Come on Charley, tell us the whole story. You can't lead off with that and change the subject to tuxedos.

You were thinking of girls wearing panties.

true dat. Nothing says "girl!" like panties. It's the most feminine word ever. I'll stop now.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:48 PM
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They're pretty thrilling; my favorite was one of about the same magnitude during an English class in Japan just as we were wrapping up a discussion about...earthquakes!

If you want to see something chilling, for a long time building codes in Japan allowed weaker construction starting at the fifth floor. Which lead to things like this during the Kobe earthquake.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:48 PM
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Loma Prieta sloshed the water our of our pool. In LA.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:48 PM
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About 95% of my cursing is "goddammit". It's the one expletive I just couldn't live without.

I'm pretty sure I heard Noah say "Jesus H. Christ" tonight.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:49 PM
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Oh yeah, I also say "Gosh!" a lot out of frustration. Unfortunately I think I picked this up from "Napoleon Dynamite".

I did respect that movie's lack of cuss words.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:50 PM
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400 -- I live west of Northwest. And btw, I've had enough of reading things by neurotic-pyschotic-pig headed politicians


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:51 PM
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407.1: unsurprisingly, I'm the same way. "motherFUCKER" is also fairly prominent, as is "sonofa..."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:53 PM
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I'll say "fuck" when I'm genuinely cursing in anger, "fuck a duck" when things aren't going well, "god fucking damn it" when I'm very frustrated, and "you stupid motherfucker" when other drivers annoy me.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:53 PM
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My mom swears pretty much only when driving, and then, in Spanish: ¡Hijo de puta!

I do my best to emulate.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:56 PM
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Megan, is there anything they can do about that Iraqi dam? clear the area and release the water? You'd think martial law would be good for something.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:57 PM
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404 -- Out of jail isn't exactly accurate. First because they took him to jail Saturday night when he was arrested, and second because if the prosecution had followed through tonight, he'd probably have been fined and dragooned into community service. And have a minor criminal conviction on his record, fwiw.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 9:57 PM
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414: but what'd he do?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:06 PM
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Sifu is getting to the heart of the matter here.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:09 PM
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when traveling outside of California... the freeway overpasses [are] spindly

This is not evidence of Californians' good judgment. It's just that the spindly ones get knocked down: survivor bias and all that. There used to be a godawful interchange between 580 and 880 that ended killing like 12 people.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:10 PM
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415-6: I'm amused at the "awwwwww, come on Uncle Charley!" tenor these comments are taking.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:12 PM
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This is not evidence of Californians' good judgment. It's just that the spindly ones get knocked down: survivor bias and all that. There used to be a godawful interchange between 580 and 880 that ended killing like 12 people.

Sure, but we don't build them like that any more, and try to reinforce the ones that were built like that and are still standing.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:12 PM
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415/16 -- What was he "crime" or what was he charged with? The true 'crime' was wearing pink tights etc (on the way back from a Hallowe'en party) on a public street in the presence of he-men police officers. Although everyone knows such things are intolerable, it's unaccountably left out of the statute book. So, 'open container.'

All they wanted to talk about was his sexuality, though.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:21 PM
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OT: Am I missing something, or is someone who signs an e-mail "[Name], JD, PhD (ABD)" getting a little ahead of themself? (To make it really too special, the JD is just that, unaccompanied by actual admission to the bar.)


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:21 PM
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420: wow. Well, good on all y'all, then, and fuck the police.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:23 PM
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421 -- I believe the technical term is 'weenie.'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:32 PM
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419: Sure, that works against today's scuffle between the plates, and probably would have worked against Loma, but when the hayward goes, I will be there to buy cheap real estate (My elementary school was bisected by this very fault: Zoners 1, Geologists Nil). I love the BA, but the prospect of owning property there fills me with horror.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:32 PM
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423: That certainly works for the JD part. The PhD (ABD) part is what I'm struggling with a little bit because I read it to mean "PhD (Not)," which isn't the effect the person is presumably after.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:41 PM
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IDP - draining it sounds like the best option, but it also sounds like something (else) that would go on the list to be resented for decades (and they knocked down our dam and stole our water!). It also isn't easy to do a controlled drain. They're talking about a ds dam; I dunno, man. Maybe under martial control you could get something up that would slow an inundation.

And then, I can't imagine how it would ever get full again. Is is supplying the city it is threatening? Where, how would they replace that water for daily supply? And how would they ever hold back enough water to re-fill another dam (on a non-gypsum base? is there another site?)? It is hard to turn off rivers nowadays.

This one sounds to me like an absolute no-win for us as occupiers, and for once, we didn't cause it. We might actually avert something worse, for once.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:41 PM
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Let's save 500,000 lives, call it even, and get out.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:43 PM
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The PhD (ABD) part is what I'm struggling with a little bit because I read it to mean "PhD (Not)," which isn't the effect the person is presumably after.~

I think it means "Completed all the classes necessary for a PhD, which I hope to get some credit for even if I never finish the dissertation". And indeed, as such a person, I like to think it's at least as impressive as a master's in the relevant field. Which may not be that impressive.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:44 PM
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Obviously, it's lame to sign any email with your degrees, but it's common to distinguish ABD status, as it does make a big difference in hiring. (That is, since I'm not yet ABD, I can only teach survey classes as an adjunct. If I were ABD, I could teach electives. That kind of thing.) But if this person puts it in emails having nothing to do with employment, I'd find it annoying.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:45 PM
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ABD in my program means you've finished all your classes, taken comprehensive (written) and subject (oral) examinations, passed translation exams in two languages, and submitted and received approval for a dissertation prospectus, so it's a bit bigger of a deal than just "done with classes."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:47 PM
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It would surely be a gesture of good faith to replace that with a safer dam elsewhere. It might never be appreciated, though. Their head engineer doesn't seem to think there's a problem.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:48 PM
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Absurdly, in my department one needn't exhibit competency in any languages other than english.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:49 PM
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At one time in my life I owned three distinct and complete tuxedos. I still have the one with subtle jade green trim though it's so worn it won't wear anymore. Two were bought on separate occasions at the same very fine secondhand/estate store. One was purchased for about $75 from a formal shop. The guy was ashamed to sell it because it had an incredibly tiny snag in one of the lapels. I had to hold it up in the sunlight and have it shown to me to spot it. I sighed wearily and said it would do. In truth, for $75 I'd buy a tuxedo in which a man had been murdered.

I found that having a tuxedo led me to go to things where a tuxedo was appropriate; in situations where it was slightly more dressy than male average across the room a tuxedo was frankly a nice little way to assert gayness and have some fun with the perceived formality of events. If a host is being too stuffy a tuxedo is an unimpeachable way to rib them; if the crowd is friendly a tuxedo is a way to show one's enthusiasm.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:49 PM
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Actually, it's not technically a requirement that one exhibit competency in English either, but it is so likely to be useful that it's basically a de facto requirement.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:50 PM
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ABD in my program means you've finished all your classes, taken comprehensive (written) and subject (oral) examinations, passed translation exams in two languages, and submitted and received approval for a dissertation prospectus, so it's a bit bigger of a deal than just "done with classes."

For me it's the same, except without the languages, and the submission of dissertation proposal is probably a lot more informal. But if that all doesn't get done within a few months of the end of classes, one is likely to get a severe talking-to and threatened with termination.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:52 PM
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In my program, ABD was just slang: "Ph.D. candidate" was the term that meant something institutionally - you were advanced to candidacy once you satisfied all of the requirements up to but not including the dissertation. So people would include "Ph. D. candidate" if they wanted to put their status in their e-mail signatures.

"Ph.D. (ABD)" really does sound like it's pushing things, even though the meaning is probably the same. I assume more people understand the idea of a candidate than an ABD.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:54 PM
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"Ph.D. (ABD)" really does sound like it's pushing things, even though the meaning is probably the same. I assume more people understand the idea of a candidate than an ABD.

But around here I don't hear "candidate" used to mean anything more prestigious than "student". It could be someone in his first month of classes.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:56 PM
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This is probably one of the many ways that departments and programs differ. It took a few years to become a candidate at my institution.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 10:58 PM
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I guess my assumption was that "ABD" by itself conveys what it needs to convey to people who are in the community for which that's useful information, and that "PhD (ABD)" is intended to suggest to the proles that one possesses a degree that hasn't actually been awarded yet. But if "PhD (ABD)" is actually used for non-fluffing purposes, I'll find other reasons to be down on this person.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:02 PM
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The question is whether this person is still enrolled. If you quit and put PhD (ABD), you're a fluffer, but if you're enrolled and happen to be at the ABD stage, then it's useful information.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:08 PM
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Putting your degrees in your e-mail sig is pretty much fluffing to begin with IMO, but I'm not sure about enrollment status. Definitely not working full-time on a dissertation, but there might still be some dissertating going on.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:13 PM
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I used the title "Ph.D. Candidate" recently because I was writing a college recommendation and I wanted to describe who I was succinctly in my title rather than talking about myself. But that's the only sort of situation I'd use it in.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:14 PM
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Loma Prieta sloshed the water our of our pool. In LA.

What shocked me when I first traveled outside California was, well, brick.

I saw a job (in SF! in China Basin!) advertised as being located in a brick warehouse. After I finished twitching, my first thought was, wow, whoever wrote that really isn't from around here.

My favorite earthquake: the one in high school that was a quick back-and-forth along the axis of my English classroom. Every single person turned around to give a dirty look to the person behind them before we realized what happened.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:22 PM
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Bleah. This part was lost:

Loma Prieta sloshed the water our of our pool. In LA.

Ogged, Loma Prieta was maybe 1/10th the intensity that The Big One's supposed to have. Believe me, when it happens, you'll figure it out pretty quickly.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:23 PM
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Believe me, when it happens, you'll figure it out pretty quickly.

I figure, although I thought maybe it was the big one far away.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:25 PM
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"Ph.D. candidate" was the term that meant something institutionally - you were advanced to candidacy once you satisfied all of the requirements up to but not including the dissertation.

This is correct across some very large subset of the profession. "ABD" is committee-speak, as in, "we can't hire him, he's only ABD, and we've got three applicants who've written books."

To answer NPH's original question, except on a c.v., you don't list your degrees if you actually have them and are not terrifically confused about what they represent.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-30-07 11:35 PM
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Did the women who attended these events own a reasonable facsimile of a party dress, aka a cocktail dress?

Yes, of course.

Re. earthquakes, Ogged, you're weird. Damn foreigners. They're kinda cool unless they're The Big One, in which case at least it's not a tornado, a flood, or (hopefully) a fire.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:08 AM
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Even relatively small ones aren't that cool if your stuff falls down and breaks. (This didn't happen to me, fortunately.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:10 AM
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Stanley, here's Miss Manners's rundown of the various levels of dress. If you were to ask me, I'd say

formal = black tie (which is always worn with a cummerbund)
semi-formal = dark suit and tie (which is never worn with a cummerbund)
business casual = stupid-ass dockers and a shirt with button-down collar and no tie, or the equivalent
informal = jeans or the equivalent.

No one wears tails any more.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:10 AM
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Nearly 450 comments and no one has put forth "wizard cocksucker?"


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:10 AM
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Lunar!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:12 AM
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Rocky, whyn't you call me this weekend? Bitch.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:13 AM
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B-wo!

Because I suck, B. Also because I didn't realize I was supposed to. And also I spent most of Saturday actually working, which was lame.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:17 AM
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if you're going to say 'noone wears tails' you should probably note most people don't wear cumbermunds, and bowties are on the way out too.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:25 AM
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453: Ah well. Next time I'll give you a little more notice.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:46 AM
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stupid-ass dockers

But what if you hate stupid ass dockers? Where does corduroy fit in? What about Armani pseudo-dockers, which I love but the rest of the world finds horrible? It's clear to me that there must exist a category above wino and below anarchist that includes the sartorially clueless, or "geeks", among us.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:46 AM
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Courduroy is casual, the Armani stuff, I assume, would count as business casual.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 12:47 AM
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um, the sartorially clueless are all about dockers.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 1:27 AM
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All they wanted to talk about was his sexuality, though.

I've represented some people who have done bad stuff: murder, rape, car repossesing, adultery, littering.

But, I NEVER want to have to go to court and have to address my daughter's boyfriend's sexuality.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 4:33 AM
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I forgot to sign my post "Dr. Will."

There is an actual Bar Opinion answering a question from a lawyer who wanted to call himself Dr.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 4:34 AM
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459 -- Will, it's not so much a court appearance as pulling strings in a city far away, in a state in which one is not licensed to practice.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 4:55 AM
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black tie (which is always worn with a cummerbund)

always worn with a cummerbund by the kind of oaf who wears button-down shirts, maybe.

ah, err, sorry and all that.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 5:09 AM
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I'll say "fuck" when I'm genuinely cursing in anger, "fuck a duck" when things aren't going well, "god fucking damn it" when I'm very frustrated, and "you stupid motherfucker" when other drivers annoy me.

that's like being ABD in swearing.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 5:18 AM
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463 is right. That is some pretty shit swearing, tbh.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 5:25 AM
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sartorially clueless

This is so going to be the dress code for my next party.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 5:36 AM
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Britain must still have a large, polite, inhibited lower middle-class, with a style more typical from the evidence of this blog to educated people in No. America than to commenters from the UK.

British tv, or the Harry Potter books, seem to be full of them.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 5:44 AM
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re: 466

You mean the sort of British TV that gets bought to be shown in the US?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 5:56 AM
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449: B, if you win the Nobel Prize, you will be required to wear tails. Miss Manners is for the non-Nobelist rabble.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:00 AM
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You can wear a peacock tail, though. Or a ponytail.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:08 AM
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397: I'm confident that very few masonry buildings are reinforced. However, a lot of the masonry you see on new buildings is just a 1" thick strip of bricklike or stonelike facing glued on to the structure.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:09 AM
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Only if you're gay or from a third-world country, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:10 AM
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467 -- Do you mean to suggest, ttaM, that Are You Being Served isn't dead on as a representation of contemporary British life?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:17 AM
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If you're gay or from a third world country, a lot of the masonry you see on new buildings is just a 1" thick strip of bricklike or stonelike facing glued on to the structure.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:18 AM
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Masonry topcoats are very popular in Indonesia and SE Asia, in fact.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:21 AM
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472 -- Now that I think about it, AYBS is more a presursor to Unfogged.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:22 AM
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we can't hire him, he's only ABD, and we've got three applicants who've written books

*sob*


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:22 AM
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Ordinarily spelled precursor


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:22 AM
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My feminaziesque sister-in-law is an ABD-for-life. She has absolutely no sense of humor about it. (No Theodore Streleski jokes please.) Her nemesis in grad school was a Turkish PhD named Attila. (More fully, she had two teachers named Attila in grad school, evil Attila and nice Attila.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:31 AM
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Of course I mean the British tv shown in the US, mysteries as well as comedies. You can infer the prevalence of styles from such things, whatever distortions they might contain. No doubt the multi-culti vulgarity and hard-boiled style of the Prime Suspect series is an exaggeration too, just as its American equivalent would be. Or the style of Dr. Who's companions, a kind of imagined everywoman.

I've presumed that the Southeastern quadrant of England must have literally millions of the sort of people I'm alluding to, with some education, who'd be embarrassed to put on a working-class accent.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:36 AM
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My feminaziesque sister-in-law is an ABD-for-life.

It's nice when people pursue education for its own sake.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:38 AM
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Professors named Attila are easy to google up if you know their discipline. I can't tell which is the nice Attila and which the evil one, though. from the photos one seems old-school and one seems slightly hip, but clues of that type are really useless.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:38 AM
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Heebie, I'll introduce her that way next time I have a chance: ""J*** here spent seven years beating her brains out in grad school, but I convinced her that the no-career policy is the way to go".

She actually studied in a practical field and is making upper-middle-class money, as good as many PhDs, but the cruel thing is that she really did want the honor of the PhD.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:42 AM
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Paul Fussell, in his awful little book Class, made the observation that you can distinguish class by how people refer to the black satin-trimmed suit, bow tie and cumberbund get-up: "tuxedo" = middle class, "tux" = lower class, "black tie" = upper class.

Similarly, "limousine" = middle class, "limo" = lower class, "car" = upper class.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 6:54 AM
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re: 479

I've presumed that the Southeastern quadrant of England must have literally millions of the sort of people I'm alluding to, with some education, who'd be embarrassed to put on a working-class accent.

Sure. Loads. I'm not sure what the significance is supposed to be, though?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:07 AM
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ABD is just shorthand. I prefer its alternative reading, "Abandoned By Department."

"Ph.D. (ABD)"

This is ridiculous. You might as well say "Married (Will Ask Soon)."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:13 AM
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The language of limo/car is also regional. When I moved to Cleveland, my car service kept saying they were sending a "limo," by which they apparently meant a van. If you didn't want a van, you asked for a "town car."

In NYC, "car" is used to distinguish between "cabs" (or "taxis"), which you hail on the street, and "cars" (or "sedans"), which you call and order.

When I was in northern Vermont last weekend, I called the front desk of the hotel and said I needed a car for the train station at 10am. He became terribly flustered, thinking I expected him to go rent me a car to drive a mile, before suddenly realizing I meant "taxi." Yes, he could get me a taxi.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:20 AM
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484: Just that it's a style our half-dozen UK commenters don't project, but I'm possibly missing the signs. I'm wondering, and doubting, that Britain is that much earthier in some universal way.

483: My response to Fussell was a kind of defiance. When a usage he identified as upper class was something I found myself using, I deliberately changed it for the disdained middle-class one.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:25 AM
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When a usage he identified as upper class was something I found myself using, I deliberately changed it for the disdained middle-class one.

The really insulting aspect of the book was not the description of the upper class, against which he got in a few choice digs, but his celebration of "Class X", the noble breed of inpecunious aesthetes for which East Coast history professors seem to be the archetypal representative.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:36 AM
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I probably would have bet my life savings that Fussell was a British person, fitting (as he sure intends to) into a tradition of ultrasnobbery that certainly derives from the English even if it is no longer particularly prevalent there. But he isn't. He appears to have never even lived there, from Wikipedia.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:37 AM
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488: Exactly. And you knew their style and usage were closer to upper class, except for the ones that weren't but should have air quotes.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:38 AM
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re: 487

I suspect people swear more here in the UK.* I don't know if that says anything about how earthy people are, though.

At least three of the UK commentators who comment here aren't from the south-east of England, though. So that will factor in.

* I actually swear quite a bit less in Unfogged comments than I do in ordinary speech, so in my case I come over more 'middle-class' on-line than I do in real life.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:39 AM
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Actually, Fussell was an English professor, 18th C specialty. He probably couldn't help it.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:40 AM
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I haven't read Fussell, but his lack of caution appeals to me. For me by now, I guess that any deviation from the academic baseline is good.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:44 AM
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I'm teaching Fussell's book on poetics this semester, mostly because I figured it would piss off my students and they'd be forced to absorb the formal knowledge while deriving their own conclusions. Instead, I'm the only one who openly hates Fussell, and my students have become little Fussellites. Very obnoxious.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:45 AM
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This is ridiculous. You might as well say "Married (Will Ask Soon)."

I agree. I can't imagine putting the information as ABD in one's e-mail signature ("only 30% drop out at this stage!"), and on a c.v., it sounds too informal.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:45 AM
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Well, I live in the deracinated, wanky Thames Valley (tourist info: either "Drive Safely in J.G.Ballard Country - We Mean It, Man!" or "Like LA with Grey Skies August-May") and really nobody who isn't drawing their pension does the "pretending not to have an accent" thing.

In fact I more often encounter the opposite; people trying to sound less bourgeois or at least less southeastern. Part of the problem is that there is no local dialect, unlike anywhere else in the UK; just generic techiespeak.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:45 AM
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Kids need rules and boundaries, AWB! They crave them! What has yoyo been telling us about the need to not curse around your kids so that they can then have the joy of breaking a rule in a harmless way!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:48 AM
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Rather, there used to be one 40 years ago but London overspill, Heathrow Airport/computer/telco industry cosmopolitanism, and immigration from the rest of the UK concreted over it.

BTW, I swear even more in conversation than in print.

And what the fuck is this ABD shit? Yet more weird yank class-signifier bollocks? Anyone But Dsquared? Anal Before Dinner? Ask Before Dating?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:52 AM
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Actually, Fussell was an English professor, 18th C specialty.

Of course. I was thinking of his WWII stuff, which made me think history, but somewhere in the deep recesses of memory I knew that was wrong.

He later wrong a book even more snide and crotchedy that Class called BAD, or the Dumbing of America. What I especially hated about that book is that I found myself agreeing with large parts of it.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:52 AM
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And what the fuck is this ABD shit? Yet more weird yank class-signifier bollocks?

I suppose so, in that only people acquainted with PhD programs knows what it means. "All but dissertation".

In sciences at least, it seems that often British PhD programs don't require any classes at all beyond the laboratory safety lectures and a couple really specialized ones, and often last less than four years, so there would be little prestige associated with "ABD" status.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:55 AM
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BAD,

I want to see a movie about a disgruntled grad student called BAD ABD.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:57 AM
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Paul Fussell, in his awful little book Class, made the observation that you can distinguish class by how people refer to the black satin-trimmed suit, bow tie and cumberbund get-up: "tuxedo" = middle class, "tux" = lower class, "black tie" = upper class.

Please. It's a dinner jacket, and it's worn with a waistcoat, not a cummerbund. Unless you're from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire or points east, of course, in which case cummerbund away. "Black tie" is a dress code, not a garment - ladies can dress in black tie.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 7:59 AM
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I want to see a pornographic movie about a disgruntled grad student called BAD ABD.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:00 AM
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Yes, the concept would be utterly risible in the UK. Bit like putting "B.A. (Fail)" on your business card.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:01 AM
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I want to see a pornographic movie about a disgruntled grad student called BAD ABD.

BIG BAD ABD then.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:02 AM
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re: 498

I live in Oxfordshire so at the upper end of the wanky valley. As Asilon will testify, a lot of locals still have a pretty strong accent that isn't generic SE.

I have a Scottish accent, but it's not one that immediately screams out my class background, I don't think. So I can get away with playing up or down in class.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:02 AM
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In my sister-in-law's case, ABD is her unhappy life story. "ABD" is not a form of bragging. It's "I could have been a contender" or "I still may have a chance".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:03 AM
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really nobody who isn't drawing their pension does the "pretending not to have an accent" thing.

In fact I more often encounter the opposite; people trying to sound less bourgeois or at least less southeastern

This is what I'm interested in. Your answer suggests that nearly everybody has or had some regional accent, and if that's true, than the kind of general, de-regionalized middle-class speech Americans often have is really non-existent. People who model their speech after the BBC accent, now seldom heard I understand, were doing something peculiar and not parallel to some supposed mainstream.

It's also obvious that the Weasleys have as little esprit, or even basic self-respect there as here. Always wanting to be something more "authentic." I regret that, and push back as often as I can.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:03 AM
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505: Disgruntled postal worker=slasher flick. Disgruntled grad student=porn?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:04 AM
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504: Well, I think the consensus is that it's risible here too to just put it after your name like that.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:05 AM
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488: I just read Fussell's Class after it was mentioned the other day (and Williams' Unbending Gender, recommended by IA through Emerson, and Gonerill, which was great. Anyone who was interested in the feminism/domestic work argument the other week should run out and buy a copy -- while it's short on ideas on what to do going forward, it's a fantastic statement of exactly the problems we were talking about) and really found myself hating him as a complete snob. Proles, middle class, and upper class are all contemptible in their own way, and the Class X members like him are the only free-spirit, intelligent, fun, happy, secure people around, not bound by their class but freely choosing their own behavior. And you know, that's nonsense too -- his description of Class X is closer to my lifestyle than any of his other classes, but that's not how I live because of my incredible personal free-spirit-ness, it's because it was how I was brought up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:05 AM
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I want to see make a pornographic movie about a disgruntled grad student called "BAD ABD".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:05 AM
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Bit like putting "B.A. (Fail)

Excellent.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:06 AM
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Don't people do that some places? Put colleges they've attended but not graduated from on resumes? I have some vague memory of that as a developing country thing, possibly in earlier decades.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:08 AM
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I hate how mimicky I am. I talk in a less-exaggerated version of whomever I'm talking to. I try to figure out what my "real" accent is, but years of acting/voice training (learning how to shape vowels in different dialects) means I slip between voices and unconsciously start to sound a little like my interlocutor. It's not like those irritating American assholes who start Monty Pythoning whenever there's a Brit in the room, more like a tiny opening or closing of vowels, but it still annoys me that I do it.

OTOH, I find I pitch my voice in the opposite range of whoever's speaking to me. To a high-pitched woman, I talk in rumbly, low tones. But with a very low-voiced guy, I drift upward.

I hate my brain.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:10 AM
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People do it in America! Like that awful Wharton guy the other week. Of course the more successful just lie outright. E.g., Jeffrey Archer, or that Atomic Energy Commission guy who had none of the physics background he claimed.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:11 AM
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Re 502: Ajay, I believe Fussell was making a descriptive rather than a normative statement about American upper class usage (though in that book it was sometimes hard to tell the difference).

Regarding the waistcoat versus cumberbund issue, the original "tuxedo" ensemble (as in at the Tuxedo Park Club) included a cumberbund, not a waistcoat, as it was specifically intended to be less formal that the traditional formal dinner wear. Both are permissible variants on "black tie" in the U.S. Also, FWIW the term "tuxedo" is older than "dinner jacket".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:11 AM
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the kind of general, de-regionalized middle-class speech Americans often have

The equivalent is generic SE; a couple of class points up gives you Blairspeak.

People who model their speech after the BBC accent, now seldom heard I understand, were doing something peculiar and not parallel to some supposed mainstream.

Totally; if you did that you were deliberately trying to be posh, and (interestingly) nonspecifically posh - not aristo ("I say!").

I live in Oxfordshire so at the upper end of the wanky valley. As Asilon will testify, a lot of locals still have a pretty strong accent that isn't generic SE.

You're not in the valley if you can't smell the airport...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:12 AM
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511: Right, it's the academic/bohemian subculture, a little broader than that but in many places that's who most reliably lives it.

I've always lived in it too. IA can testify I think, but Deep River, Ont., the bedroom community for Canada's Chalk River Nuclear project in the late forties and early fifties, was a place where that style was dominant even then.

It's a much bigger and better distributed style than it used to be. It's essentially what Brooks' Bobos are.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:14 AM
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That is some pretty shit swearing

Hurtful cultural imperialism. You can see that as Hebrew and Arabic (sister languages to my own native tongue) are built around consonant blocks, my swearing is arranged around the base word "fuck." I understand that those long oppressed become more florid in angry speech, but my people prefer to think of themselves as oppressors, with only gentle words.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:19 AM
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But it's not a free-spirited escape from the strictures of class, it's a class.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:19 AM
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Monty Python has ruined the British for me. The minute I hear any British accent, I think of the penguin on the telly, or the dead bishop on the landing. Sorry guys.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:20 AM
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Embarrassingly, while I swear reasonably normally when angry, if I'm hurt or startled or frightened what comes out is either "Fudge" or "Sugar".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:20 AM
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Hebrew and Arabic (sister languages to my own native tongue)

Your native tongue is Indo-European just like ours, you ignoramus.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:21 AM
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I curse to find out how angry I am. If I can get through a whole "cocksucking motherfucker" without laughing, I'm really mad.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:21 AM
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think of themselves as oppressors
Oh please. The sine qua non forum for cussing is driving alone. No blinker lane cutoff? "suck the shit out of my ass". Drifting while makeup or mobile fumbling? worse.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:22 AM
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523 cracks me up.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:23 AM
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Thinking about class is a no-win situation. If you're trying to be something, you've already lost, and if you're trying to avoid something, you've already lost, which amounts to the same thing.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:23 AM
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528: But if you're trying to figure out why some people treat other people badly, and to avoid doing the same, thinking about class is going to be necessary.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:25 AM
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528: This is Pierre Bourdieu boiled down to two sentences.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:26 AM
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re: 520

Mind is based around the base word 'fuck' too. That or 'cunt'. But I tend not to use that here.

People where I am from punctuate with swearing. You just wouldn't believe how much swearing they use.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:27 AM
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Mine. Mine.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:28 AM
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Mind, too.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:29 AM
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I've never heard `ABD' used in a prestigious sense before. It also seems to come up much more in humanities than in sciences, I think. As far as I can tell, it should mean literally what it sounds like, that you've completed your comprehensive/qualifying exams and all coursework, but not your dissertation/thesis. It's useful to classify graduate students, as the abd ones nominally have a lot more time (which theoretically, is being used to finish). Outside a grad program, it's a way of self identifying as one of the ones that didn't make it for whatever reason, I guess.

As far as I can see, in the US in technical disciplines people are more likely to take a terminal masters route out of the ph.d. This has devalued masters in the US a bit relative to, say, Canada where it is more likely to be both a complete degree with a thesis & defense, and a prerequisite to a ph.d program. Here people may assume if you have a masters it was because you failed out or left a ph.d program. I guess that's why you don't run into `abd' as much.

I also don't know how widespread this is, but I'm familiar with programs where you aren't a ph.d candidate until you've passed your qualifying exams, so that's a similar idea.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:30 AM
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529: Looking over my past, I've found that whenever I've felt inexplicably uncomfortable meeting a new person, class or ethnicity was the reason. I think that it's more class (and education), because I've never felt uncomfortable in this way with Jews. I also tend to bond especially well with small-town gentry types, of which I am of course one.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:30 AM
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528, 529: And we've been expelled from the garden where class is unknown, and must live as adults in this society.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:36 AM
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Pierre Bourdieu boiled down
Bourdieu is pretty good, I thought. His exposition makes the point that the striving to belong or escape is essential. He doesn't make Fussell's mistake of pretending to be above it all, and doesn't invite his readers to do it either.
Actually, one of the books that made me think new ideas about class was Twitchell's Adcult USA, which goes into some detail about symbiosis between aspirations and advertising. Funny and well-illustrated too.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:36 AM
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You know what really annoys me about American discussions of class? The vastly over-inflated place they all give to New England (and some Southern) old money; yachting and family silver and prep-schools. Those people exist, and plenty of them are powerful -- George Bush is one. But they don't define the entire American wealthy upper class, and talking as if they did gives people who don't fit that mold, but are wealthy, undeserved street-cred as proles.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:37 AM
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Mind is based around the base word 'fuck' too. That or 'cunt'. But I tend not to use that here.

Another vote for "fuck" based swearing. God I wish "cunt" was more acceptable in this country. Use that world over here, and people look at you like you kicked a kid.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:38 AM
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Paul Fussell's son, Samuel Fussell, wrote a great book called "Muscle" about how he loaded up on steroids and became a competition-class bodybuilder in southern California. It is much better, funnier, and more observant than "Class". One of the many entertaining aspects of the book is the occasional cameo appearances by his parents, who are shocked and horrified by his life course.

http://www.powells.com/biblio/17-0380717638-1


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:39 AM
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built around consonant blocks

I used to work with an Iraqi who shared with me some of that culture's rich treasure of curses. I can't remember any of the Arabic anymore, but it all sounded wonderfully swear-like, and usually translated into something like "I take a shit in your mother's breastmilk" or something.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:40 AM
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An advantage to living in the upper midwest is that the influence of Eastern old money as a style is less than it appears to be on the east coast.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:40 AM
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if I'm hurt or startled or frightened what comes out is either "Fudge" or "Sugar".

Good lord. I'd not be able to stop laughing if I heard this.

Maybe I'll start using "pussyfeathers".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:41 AM
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From the Mauflower point of view, I'm not sure that the Rockefellers (for example) are old money. Certainly not the Kennedys.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:44 AM
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Rockefeller genealogy. They're old colonial with pretenses to noble descent (which look fake to me) but John D. Rockefeller's father was a not-very-successful con man.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Avery_Rockefeller


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:47 AM
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Charley, I cannot believe that sort of thing is still going on. I would have wanted to go into the station with a sledgehammer.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:51 AM
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543: Yeah, people generally do. At which point I recover the ability to swear normally.

542: The thing is, on the East Coast you don't see a whole lot of those people either. I work in a big law firm, and have worked in another one -- partners here are rich powerful elite East Coast types, so if Yankee old money were as dominant as you'd think from reading pop writing about class, I should be seeing them. I can't think of anyone I've met who's obviously one of those -- a Winchester Northrop Cabot III, known as "Bunny" to his friends (the closest I can come up with is Jewish, but old-money New Orleans). People I know who went to the St. Grottlesex prep schools tend to be more like Saisegly than the stereotypical preppie -- money, but not that Yankee family background.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:52 AM
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But they don't define the entire American wealthy upper class, and talking as if they did gives people who don't fit that mold, but are wealthy, undeserved street-cred as proles.

Gee, after a whole thread on how unremarkable it was to own a tux (oops, not to look lower class, 'tuxedo') and how everyone we'd associate with, dahling, would own black-tie attire. Where on earth would such an impression originate?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:53 AM
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I can testify that Mayflower Anglo-Saxonness is only useful at all if accompanied by some family money. There are lots of white trash Mayflower descendant in upper New England. It's really specific families, not ethnicity.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:56 AM
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But the thread wasn't like that -- the closest person to saying that was B., and she's from California and was talking about her dad having to be talked into wearing a tie for her graduation.

Alameida does seem to be genuinely one of those people -- it's not that they don't exist -- but they're not common, and they're not the whole or the majority of the wealthy powerful elite.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:56 AM
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FWIW, I've worn a tux once in my life.

However, I do have to own the full sub-fusc gear including gown. I do love the gown, I have to admit. It's great for swooping.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:57 AM
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Yes, the concept would be utterly risible in the UK. Bit like putting "B.A. (Fail)" on your business card.

This might be because most traditional British Phd programs are far easier to complete than U.S. ones, which are designed after the German model. For most U.S. Phd programs, ABD is different and more difficult than a masters degree. So you can hardly blame people for trying to show their highest level of education.

Before you ask, I'm not ABD, but some of my friends are. I think harm is done by getting people to stick through their dissertations when they're just not feeling it. So mocking ABDs seems sort of mean and counterproductive to me.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:59 AM
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I doubt that there's a tux in this whole town.

Maybe the bankers have them for occasions in Minneapolis. I can't think of a single other person who would.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 8:59 AM
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The funny thing is that at this point I think the Jewish community in the U.S. has more money/power/influence than the stereotypical Northeastern WASP elite.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:01 AM
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mocking ABDs seems sort of mean and counterproductive to me.

It's a step up from mocking cripples, though.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:01 AM
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554: You'd have to break it down a whole lot finer than 'the Jewish community' to be saying something that meant anything there. 'The Jewish community' doesn't denote something nearly as specific as 'Yankee old-money types like Alameida'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:03 AM
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I don't say this much, and no hard feelings, but I'm sure that in any career I might ever have thought of going into, being Jewish would have been more helpful than being WASPish.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:05 AM
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I think that Alameida has a Jewish connection too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:05 AM
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Wrong, it turns out. One of her famous ancestors was wrongly thought to be Jewish.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:06 AM
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Erm. This conversation creeping me out a little. Having specific family or social connections is terribly helpful. But could we please not be talking about being Jewish as if that, in itself, constituted helpful family or social connections? It really doesn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:07 AM
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It's a step up from mocking cripples, though.

Having a little trouble letting it go?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:08 AM
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557 sounds right to me.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:08 AM
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In fact, conversation creeping me out enough that me type like Cookie Monster.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:08 AM
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There are lots of white trash Mayflower descendant in upper New England. It's really specific families, not ethnicity.

Exactly. I'm a Mayflower descendant, worth exactly zilch. As my wife says, "that and two dollars will get you a cup of coffee." My grandfather, born on an impoverished dirt farm in Shimogue (Shim o gwee) N.B., was, wait for it—a Canadian carpenter.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:08 AM
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Class X members like him are the only free-spirit, intelligent, fun, happy, secure people around, not bound by their class but freely choosing their own behavior.

How Schilleresque! The fallacy is thinking that, in "choosing their own behavior", they'll all choose Fussell's behavior. It doesn't count for you, LB, because you didn't freely choose what you're doing.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:11 AM
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But could we please not be talking about being Jewish as if that, in itself, constituted helpful family or social connections? It really doesn't.

Ah—that's where you're wrong.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:13 AM
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So you can hardly blame people for trying to show their highest level of education.

In my program, the M. Phil. is awarded when you're ABD. If I wanted to brag about an accomplishment, that's it.

550: But that's just it. As pleasant as everyone was, your standard was 'it makes sense if you wear a tux once a year.' And it that's not classist, no, it's just common for middle class people. I'm just saying that if that's supposed to be a marker of being upper middle class, well, that's one I don't have. Same with the private schools, the sailing lessons, the summer homes, knowing not to wear diamonds during the day, thinking of Prada as a sensible shoe purchase, or seriously introducing your six-year-old to sushi and French cuisine.

It's not a resentment thing, but if that's what I perceive as the upper middle class, and then you ask me what class I am, and I know saying 'upper middle class' means people assume everyone I know owns a tux for those yearly occasions, why would I say 'upper middle class'?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:14 AM
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There are plenty of poor and lower class Jews, not all old people or immigrants, in the big cities and near-in suburbs. In small towns, I'm presuming this includes John's, Jews tend to be professionals or have retail businesses. Think Eugene Levy's Dr. Pearl in Waiting for Guffman. There's a hilarious "Easter Egg"—if you'll pardon the expression—on the cd, where Levy and the woman who plays his wife improvise a "Jewish Geography" conversation.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:18 AM
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But that's just it. As pleasant as everyone was, your standard was 'it makes sense if you wear a tux once a year.' And it that's not classist, no, it's just common for middle class people.

But I also said that my father did, because his firm sent him to charity events, but that I didn't know anyone in my generation who wore a tux ever except at a wedding. And pointed out that 'black tie optional' would leave all the men in suits except for the one schmuck who dressed up, because no one owns a tux anymore. I like the idea of tuxes being common dressup wear for men, because I think men don't get to dress up enough and I think they look nice, but I certainly don't live in a social world where they are common at all, and you'd have to have missed a bunch of my comments to think I did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:19 AM
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why would I say 'upper middle class'? You wouldn't, nor would I, and proud of it.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:21 AM
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Speaking as a no-longer-old-money WASP who doesn't own either black-tie or cocktail attire (well, maybe I could swing cocktail attire if I had to), I've found the whole conversation sort of hilariously mid-century urbanite. A lady always wears gloves!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:23 AM
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571 to 548. Truly, I am living in the past.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:24 AM
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Same with the private schools, the sailing lessons, the summer homes, knowing not to wear diamonds during the day, thinking of Prada as a sensible shoe purchase, or seriously introducing your six-year-old to sushi and French cuisine.

This was funny, because my initial reaction was to think that introducing a 6-year-old to sushi really doesn't belong in the same category as all of this other stuff (which, for me anyway, is a list of stuff I don't see myself having the excess cash for any time soon). But maybe the sushi is a bt decadent...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:26 AM
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Further to 569: And that's really part of my point with the "What's with all the insistence on Yankee old money"? Measuring by income, I've got to be at least upper middle class, and so were my parents. Measuring by proximity to Yankee old money -- knowing not to wear diamonds in the daytime, being likely to attend formal events, so on -- I'm a prole, and so were my parents. Yankee old money behaviors don't have much to do with anything any more. Dad wore a tuxedo for work events, but his father never did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:29 AM
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569: All this is just to say to your 538 that class encompasses more than income, and given that, it's not really surprising that people who don't have the right sort of background, whether it's tuxedos or sailing lessons, aren't going to identify more with the proles even if they have a lot of money.

My very first experience at university was having to explain to my three roommates that no, my dad didn't golf, shuffle feet. Even if I end up buying their fathers, I'm not going to feel like part of that group, and I don't think it's my fault for not thinking so.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:31 AM
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Sushi is great kids' food. My six-year old loves it. Doesn't belong on an entitlement shitlist IMO.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:32 AM
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574: I don't think we're really disagreeing, but 'why don't they realize they're no longer proles!' struck me as really funny after the whole conversation on whether it was normal to own a tux. It's not the proles making the rules about who is acceptable and who isn't.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:33 AM
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I have begun to use a sort of drawled "fuckkkking" as a means of indicating that I have not stopped talking, while taking a mid-sentence pause for thought, viz

"what's the .... fuckkkking ..... implied writedown on those and ..... fuckkkkkking .... how does it split by maturity"?

in a work context or

"well, the zoo is .... fuckking .... closed on Sunday and ... fuckkkking .... mummy wants to go swimming, little Napoleon, so .... fuckkkking .... unless you want to go today we're not going to get a chance to see the baby giraffes"

more domestically.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:34 AM
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it's not really surprising that people who don't have the right sort of background, whether it's tuxedos or sailing lessons, aren't going to identify more with the proles even if they have a lot of money

Conventional wisdom alerrrt! In fact, they get on just fine. "Trading Places" is utterly misleading in this regard.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:36 AM
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557, 560, 566:

As I said, I rarely talk about this and have no hard feelings. I think that it's true, though. I think that it would have been helpful to me if I'd grown up knowing urban and suburban ways, or if my father had been more in touch with what was happening in the big world.

If it were possible to convert to secular Judaism, I probably would. As it is I call myself a secular Lutheran.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:36 AM
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LB, I'm not sure your outfit is the right place to look. People there are working for a living, and the primary daily object of their work is increasing the fortunes of others, not their own. Not that WASPY old money people can't go in for that, or go in for institutions that admitted Jews before about 1955, but it's not the most target rich environment.

Mayflower ancestry isn't what it used to be. At the end of the 19th century, it meant you (a) weren't part of the Ellis Island rabble; (b) likely not part of the mid-19th century Catholic (especially Irish!) rabble; and (c) had sufficient leisure -- or better yet, sufficient money -- for the difficult and tedious process of working back through the generations. Sure there were (and today are) millions of people with Mayflower ancestry who didn't know it. That's not what the sorting process was about.

With the percentage of foreign-born, including new arrivals, in the 1890-1920 period, you'd expect 'old money' to be generally WASPy, and not particularly 'Jewish.' We live in a pretty different country now.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:36 AM
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576: I have never had good sushi (so I am told, though I've enjoyed it) and the first time I had it was on a business lunch when I was 22. I think it's great kids' food, too, but that doesn't mean that trying it at age six isn't a regional or class marker.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:36 AM
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My very first experience at university was having to explain to my three roommates that no, my dad didn't golf, shuffle feet.

My conversations like this tend more along the lines of "Fuck no we don't play golf. My dad was too busy teaching us sports that require athleticism."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:37 AM
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574: I don't think we're really disagreeing, but 'why don't they realize they're no longer proles!' struck me as really funny after the whole conversation on whether it was normal to own a tux. It's not the proles making the rules about who is acceptable and who isn't.

Yeah, I'm not arguing that there aren't class distinctions -- there are huge real ones. I just think the Yankee-Mayflower 'classiness' markers specifically are more fantasy than reality these days. What they are a marker of, come to think, and what was showing up in the thread, is being middle-class well read. I know from upper class New England manners and customs from reading fiction, and so can bring out factoids like 'informal' meaning 'wear a tuxedo'. That doesn't mean I live in that world, or that that world really exists anymore, but being the sort of person who knows it is its own sort of class marker, and I think that's what was getting shown off in the thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:42 AM
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573: When one of my nieces was about 6 she developed a taste for sushi. She munched it down like Cheetos. Sushi has become her traditional birthday celebration. None of the other stuff.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:42 AM
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"Fuck no we don't play golf. My dad was too busy teaching us sports that require athleticism."

I think I want to have your baby, gswift. Why do we even consider golf a sport?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:44 AM
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sushi...regional Sounds right, sushi is different in Ohio and Missouri than Chicago and big coastal cities.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:45 AM
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"Regional marker", yes. People on the west Coast have been using chopsticks for at least two generations.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:46 AM
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"Trading Places" is utterly misleading in this regard.

Next you're going to tell me that James Earl Jones isn't actually the king of a tiny but unbelievably happy and wealthy African country.

But then how did he get the lion skin, huh? HOW?!?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:46 AM
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Yeah. In New York, it's takeout. Ordering takeout is a class marker, but not sushi specifically.

(This has changed in the last 25 years. When Bucks' neighbors fed him sushi as a teen, they were showing off their exotic tastes. But now you can buy sushi in supermarkets in plenty of cities.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:46 AM
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The funny thing about the tuxedo I wore in 128 is that I originally bought it for a masquerade party a friend threw in college (along with a face mask, of course). It was cheap and used from Keezer's, (in)famous as having been a sort of formal-dress pawnshop where Harvard men went to exchange their nice duds for pocket money. The party was the same night as an evening exam, so I wore the tuxedo to the exam, which was a great time. The instructor did a double-take when he passed me, and then asked the student sitting behind me "Where's your tuxedo?"


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:48 AM
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582: Perhaps it makes a difference to define "good sushi." Rory had sushi by 6, but her first time was homemade sushi at a potluck for her very diverse (and decidedly not upper class) preschool. I'm not sure she or I have ever had good sushi, though.

But I can't really defend the egalitarianness of Rory's eating habits when she tells people her favorite food is filet mignon. I have indeed spolied her a bit in the area of food.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:48 AM
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Let me re-enforce Charley's points about those of us who know we're Mayflower descendants. Some prosperous member of one's family will have researched it, usually in the late 19th C and for exactly the reasons Charley outlined, and everybody else in the family will be able to find themselves, or a known ancestor, and trace the line accordingly. The total number of books with titles like The ____ Family in America must run to the thousands, most from the period before WWI.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:49 AM
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My very first experience at university was having to explain to my three roommates that no, my dad didn't golf, shuffle feet.

I would be with gswift, except that I have never been asked about my family's golfing tendencies. Even the couple times my own disdain for golfing have arisen were entirely devoid of judgement by everyone else involved in the conversation. There are places where this is considered a class marker for the very high classes?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:51 AM
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My mother used to say that golf was a sport only when you were really bad at it. Not that we or anyone we knew played.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:51 AM
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I know a guy whose father rents tuxedos to Rom (Gypsies) in Spokane. They're sticklers for propriety that way, some of his best customers. B would love them


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:52 AM
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Again, it's part of the Yankee old money mythos (golfing, funny pants to golf in), and I wouldn't be surprised if people who aren't Yankee old money pick it up as a snob marker in a vague attempt to pass.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:52 AM
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They just wanted to plan a nice outing for our dads during freshman orientation weekend. What was worst, from my 18-year-old perspective, was that they just assumed that everyone's dad golfed. How else would one's father swing the million-dollar business deals?

(As it turns out, they were more the exception than the rule at the school, but it was a bizarre roommate situation. Three very wealthy girls and one who had thought she was middle class.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:54 AM
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The only things I know about golf come from Fleming and Wodehouse. Golf in real life couldn't possibly live up.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:55 AM
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Golfing is very bih in East Asia. I already saw it in Taiwan in 1983. By new it's more a business-class marker than an ethnic marker, I'm sure.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 9:56 AM
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Golf is not entirely a benign part of Yankee old money mythos, no. Private golf clubs are insanely expensive, intentionally exclusive (that is, a waiting list to join and rejection because someone dislikes you or there is no-one to speak up), and rather unpleasant behind the backs of their token asian and jewish members. At least the one where I caddied was like that. Playing golf is different, it can be egalitarian, charming to have fat athletes, etc. But the private club dimension is not dead. Can't stand the game, myself, though I like watching on TV.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:00 AM
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Golfing in my neck of the woods really isn't such a class marker anymore. Cheap forest preserve courses, lots of people who don't really know or care how to do it well.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:01 AM
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And then there's also the clubs that don't admit women. What's that one, where they have the thing? Someone who cares about golf tell me.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:02 AM
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In Jiro Horikoshi's memoir of designing the Zero, he remembered how he and his fellow aeronautical engineers would hit golf balls on the roof of Mitsubishi's design office. That's from the late thirties. Those guys would have been very Westernized, to upper-middle-class norms.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:03 AM
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I realize that it's a very touchy subject and shouldn't be spoken of casually in unknown company, but I think that there is an advantage to being Jewish per se. My friend now in Israel was pretty messed up when I met him, but he was recognized as a good Jewish boy in distress by an MD couple and also by a rabbi, who virtually took him into their families based on that. I would call this praiseworthy. (I think that the same can happen for Mormons.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:03 AM
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leblanc is thinking of the brouhaha around the Masters, in Augusta, Ga.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:04 AM
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605: Yeah, the Mormons are super into the community and helping out their own. When my mom was dying, we had a steady stream of people cooking for us, cleaning our house, bringing us Christmas trees, and shit like that, for like two years. It was pretty impressive.

I still hate the church though.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:05 AM
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I think golfing is really more a marker of suburbanness (or car ownership) than anything else. Golfing at private clubs is definitely a class marker, but really that's true for any kind of private athletic club, with the hierarchy maybe being golf -> tennis -> squash -> generic gym.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:06 AM
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Golf sucks. A proper "gentleman's sport" that's a thousand times more fun? Shooting clay pigeons.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:08 AM
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Golfing is very bih in East Asia. I already saw it in Taiwan in 1983

Without their drugs, the Chinese are terrible athletes. That's why they like golf.

Private golf clubs are insanely expensive, intentionally exclusive (that is, a waiting list to join and rejection because someone dislikes you or there is no-one to speak up), and rather unpleasant behind the backs of their token asian and jewish members.

That's not unidirectional. Jordan famously got rejected for membership by a Chicago area Jewish club. People want a space of their own. For a bunch of reasons, it's problematic, but it is also understandable.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:09 AM
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And of course it's a marker depending on the club. I'm sure there are WASP old-money private country clubs, and whoever-has-the-money-for-dues private country clubs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:09 AM
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#332 gets it exactly right.

Once, at a conference, a friend of mine was sent to pick up Paul Fussell and his wife. After driving to the airport, and waiting for a late flight, he took them to his car, which wouldn't start. On the way back, in the cab, he tried to make small talk "So, Mrs. Fussell, I understand you write cookbooks?"

"No, [S.], that was Paul's first wife."

As if that wasn't bad enough--at the hotel, S. didn't have enough cash on him to pay the driver and had to ask Fussell to make up the difference.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:11 AM
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Was the rest of S.'s life like that too?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:13 AM
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People want a space of their own OK, but the people that run exclusive golf clubs are scum who barely deserve the privacy of a driver's seat; let them hide in J Edgar Hoover-like warrens with a proper sense of shame. Not that there's a particular set of people I'm thinking of here or anything.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:15 AM
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604: That's incredibly cool. When he was inventing the jet engine, Frank Whittle used to keep a .22 rifle in his design office and shoot rabbits out the window; very different class settings. (Whittle came from a working-class background, was an RAF technical apprentice who passed out top of the class and got selected for pilot training, became a test pilot, and got the RAF to send him to Cambridge to study engineering.)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:15 AM
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611: I'm sure there are WASP old-money private country clubs

Yes indeed:

Some celebrities have trouble getting into private clubs because of their notoriety. Geraldo Rivera bought a mansion on ritzy Point Road in Marion, just off the 17th green of the ultra exclusive Kittansett Club.

He tried his best to join the club, but his application was rejected. It wasn't just Rivera. Golf Digest Magazine, years ago, labeled Kittansett as the snobbiest club in America.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:16 AM
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I'm surprised y'all are still nattering on about this. LB, we old money WASP types are still around, and have spread out from the NE base. My God, you can't swing a cat where I live without hitting one.

On the cussing side, while undergoing training at Qunatico, VA we had as our "dining in" guest the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Barrow. He gave us a lecture on not cussing in front of the troops. Said it was "low". So to this day I say things like "rats". My wife, however, swears a blue streak and then wonders why the kids are potty mouths.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:18 AM
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They didn't admit Geraldo? There it is for you -- racism in a nutshell. How could anyone possible not want to see Geraldo face-to face-almost every day for the rest of their life?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:19 AM
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Golfing in my neck of the woods really isn't such a class marker anymore

see, that's why you don't like it - the neck of the woods is a really crappy place to play golf. You want to find a nice patch of open ground with a few hills. Otherwise the little ball thing just keeps bouncing off the trees.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:19 AM
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LB, we old money WASP types are still around, and have spread out from the NE base. My God, you can't swing a cat where I live without hitting one.

Did I say you didn't exist? No, of course you do. But you're not all or most of the moneyed elite anymore, if you ever were, and the discussion of class as if anyone who didn't share your particular social markers -- shabby blazers, sailing, Mayflower ancestry -- was excluded from the corridors of power is a silly one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:21 AM
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619: It just takes more skill that way. Like playing pool.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:22 AM
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Lumley's A First Course in Turbulence is a great book, very down-to-earth.

Wait, Emerson, you're saying the gypsies return the tuxedos to the shop?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:24 AM
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and the discussion of class as if anyone who didn't share your particular social markers -- shabby blazers, sailing, Mayflower ancestry -- was excluded from the corridors of power is a silly one.

Varies a bit by field, and it's not nearly so straightforward, I think.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:26 AM
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My God, you can't swing a cat where I live without hitting one.

swinging cats, playing golf, all WASP hobbies that require a large open space. Looks like the woods are the place to go if you want to avoid them.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:26 AM
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Golfing in my neck of the woods really isn't such a class marker anymore. Cheap forest preserve courses, lots of people who don't really know or care how to do it well.

This rings true. In the midwestern suburb of my first 15 years, golfing was just a marker for the fairly successful local dentists, lawyers, accountants and doctors, decent-sized fish in a pretty small pond. The country clubs, while expensive, were hardly out of reach for a professional making $200,000 or up. While this certainly kept out the majority of locals, it still isn't exactly the super lofty ranks of old money with dozens of millions lying around in a McDuck-like vault.

In Chicago, the only people I seem to know who golf are the sort of former frat-boys whose parents are those suburban professionals.

As for England, I just don't remember golfing ever being mentioned apart from laughing at it being a Blues sport (a very elite and jealously guarded distinction, typically reserved for the sort of sports gswift and others would consider respectable).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:26 AM
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623: I'd be really very comfortable saying there's noplace important left that you'd be shut out of for not being an old-money WASP. Plenty of places you'd be shut out of for not being a lots-of-money something, but there isn't a big WASPs-only world anymore.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:29 AM
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622: Don't know the detailed, but he's established an ongoing relationship of mutual trust with them, to the point that he sometimes mediates with the rest of the community for them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:29 AM
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As for England, I just don't remember golfing ever being mentioned

no offence old chap, but of course a chap wouldn't discuss his goff club with a bloody Yank. I mean really. tsk.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:30 AM
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Was the rest of S.'s life like that too?

Tended to be, when I knew him. I previously mentioned S. here.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:31 AM
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626: I actually don't think that's quite true. Certain little corners of the banking and legal worlds are what I'm thinking of.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:31 AM
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As for England, I just don't remember golfing ever being mentioned
Because you don't speak Russian, one more reason there's no future for you in that country.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:33 AM
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630: Really? I'm not saying family connections don't make it easier, but there are places where I wouldn't be welcome as an Irish kinda mutt with manual-laborer grandparents and not a lot of knowledge of my great-grandparents? Maybe they exist, but I've never gotten a smell of them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:36 AM
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Whittle's is a great story of incredible persistence. He'd had the idea when he was a Cranwell cadet, but getting a reliable, workable device took years of development.

This was true even though his was based on an existing, developed device, the centrifugal supercharger. He did everything right, only invented what he had to, made no major mistakes, and it still took years, mostly due to the very high revs.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:36 AM
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I think that old WASP money is big in diplomacy and some areas of government service, and in some parts of the philanthropy / non-profit / culture world. Not dominant or exclusive, but disproportionately important.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:37 AM
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632: Maybe they exist, but I've never gotten a smell of them.

Well, right. You wouldn't have the connections, wouldn't run into the people, wouldn't really have any reason to be around them, probably wouldn't enjoy it if you did. But I think these little sinecure-for-inbreds kind of niches do exist. I'm only speaking from a vague impression of people named Biff and Buff and whatnot, and things I've heard sort of secondhand, so maybe they really are gone by this point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:38 AM
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634, 635: Oh, I'll totally believe there are areas where it's a big help, and where there are more Biffs than the odds would suggest. Just not that there are areas where non-WASPiness is more harmful than the absence of a leg up, to the point where, say, an Italian name would be surprising.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:40 AM
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Golfing is very big in East Asia

I got the impression that it was de rigueur for much of the Japanese managerial class. Where I lived in Tokyo, I had a close view of one of those rooftop driving ranges (covered in a huge net) where salarymen would practice after getting off work late at night. During the economic boom, there was some controversy over exclusively Japanese country clubs in Hawaii; they were nominally open to everyone, but they were de facto all-Japanese because the non-Japanese on the waiting lists had no hope of ever seeing a membership open up. I suspect that changed with the economy in the '90s.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:41 AM
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mediates with the rest of the community for them. I'm glad to hear that there's a place where they're doing OK. I've had more than one discussion where someone brings up their talent for music (natural rhythm, you see) as evidence that there's nothing wrong with those people.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:41 AM
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My (prep school) alumni magazine a few years ago had a picture of all the alums then working at JP Morgan. A large picture surely, but not exclusive.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:43 AM
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486: When I was in northern Vermont last weekend, I called the front desk of the hotel and said I needed a car for the train station at 10am. He became terribly flustered, thinking I expected him to go rent me a car to drive a mile, before suddenly realizing I meant "taxi." Yes, he could get me a taxi.

Indeed? Where in Vermont? Just out of curiosity, since I'm in central Vermont, not northern. BTW, though, I can't blame the guy too much. I'd be surprised if there were more than five towns in the state where taxis are reasonably common. Sure, someone at the front desk of a hotel should know about the options, but still.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:45 AM
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Actually, Spokane isn't like thta, just this one guy. There was a horrific police raid a decade or so ago. IIRC the Rom won their case.

Link

Google Spokane + Gypsy and there will be tons of stuff.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:48 AM
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one more reason there's no future for you in that country

Nah, that was the winters and the expense. I may be risking frostbite in the winds here, but I have more than 5 hours of sunlight in the day. And any Londoner paying my rent would be living somewhere the size of my closet, without even a view as scenic as my underwear drawer.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:51 AM
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636: A little bit what Sifu said, but the relevant thing is probably your use of "important" above, which strikes me as right. There's less pressure on these areas (or firms) because there are acceptable alternatives. For the purposes of--well, anything I can think of--you're right.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 10:54 AM
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Gypsy funeral with ice cream and mariachi band


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:01 AM
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"Gypsy Curse" pop song blessed by the Rom. Buy here.

Lots of good reasons to hate Spokane. Worse than Boise, worse than Salt Lake.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:10 AM
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Golfing is very big in East Asia

South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. In Korea, it's a fanaticism with many girls and their parents. It's a potentially lucrative career in a society having few decent opportunities for women. Of course, it is lottery type odds, but they are very prominent on the LPGA tour.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:38 AM
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My wife, however, swears a blue streak and then wonders why the kids are potty mouths.

I feel your pain. It was an awkward moment when my daughter asked "Daddy, what's a fucker?"

I'm no vicar myself, but I'm good at supressing it in front of children, a quality I learned from my own parents (I've heard my mother say exactly one "damn" in her life."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-31-07 11:51 AM
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The Country club might be the worst. (You know, the one in Brookline, the original country club. You can call it the country club in Brookline, but don't ever call it the Brookline country club. I hate them, because they've surrounded their club with a ton of chain-link fence. I mean, you'd think that they could afford to build a nice fence or a wall.

I used to live down the street from the Longwood Cricket club. That always seemed a bit more tolerable. They don't play cricket there, but I think that they did once. It's a tennis club with a pool. I think that they have some nice tennis courts. It's the place where the Davis cup started.

When I was growing up, pro tennis championships were held there.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 1-07 8:29 AM
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I am a member of the Valley Hunt Club (originators of the Tournament of Roses). No one rides to hounds anymore.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 1-07 12:53 PM
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The title of this post is better than any of the suggestions offered in the comments.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 11- 1-07 12:55 PM
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647: I swear, and PK swears, but he understands perfectly well that "other people" think it's not okay for kids to swear, and so he largely doesn't in front of them, any more than I do.

Much as I want to brag about my kid's genius, I kind of suspect that he's not alone in being able to understand this distinction.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11- 1-07 1:07 PM
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