Noblesse Oblige The Inimitable Investigation into the

Noblesse Oblige The Inimitable Investigation into the


  • Paperback
  • 156 pages
  • Noblesse Oblige The Inimitable Investigation into the Idiosyncracies of English Idiom
  • Nancy Mitford
  • 13 November 2015
  • 9780689707049

10 thoughts on “Noblesse Oblige The Inimitable Investigation into the Idiosyncracies of English Idiom

  1. Primrose Jess Primrose Jess says:

    I stumbled across a most pristine copy that has never been read for a mere 5 When opening the post I ended up doing a reread of it and appreciating Evelyn Waugh's Open Letter even Such an interesting window into a time period and literary discourse


  2. David David says:

    U upper class v non U middle class identifiers in the languageHighlights Takinghaving high tea Non U I always knew this Good to see it written down Consulting etiuette books Non U You either do it U or you do it non U You aren't allowed to change or learn addressing a man as Sir Non U unless you are an elderly academic addressing a woman as Miss Non U Cheers Non U Until 1939 English U speakers normally said nothing Since then however the Service habit of saying something has become almost universal and most U speakers therefore feel it churlish to say nothing; representing a shudder they probably say 'Cheers' To take a bath is non U Apparently everyone ought to have a bath Cycle is non U It's bike Home Non U Say They've a very nice house and not They've a lovely home Nowadays we'd do something even worse and use got or gotten in such a sentence Sick Non U It's ill ”Preserve Non U It's jam ”Perfume” Non U It's scentthe list goes on But most of the battles have been lost Does even the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire ever say looking glass for mirror? The issue now is American versus British usage So it was interesting to see Berkeley Berkshire clerk Derby U speakers rhyme the first syllable with dark or bar non U with mirk or burr Really? I thought that everyone in Britain would have said the Darby and it was only in North America where they would say the Kentucky Dirby Perhaps not Which rather undermines why some British people are so precious about itAs an aside my favourite argument aabout an Americanism is with the full stop period after Mr or Mrs Apparently Mr and Mrs are contractions of Master and Mistress and not abbreviations This means that if you want to use any punctuation you should use the apostrophe M'r and M'r's Using a full stop as North Americans do is similar to writing I dont understand for I don't understand Prof and Rev are abbreviations and so the full stop is appropriateLook at what Evelyn Waugh has to say about genealogy My own scepticism about theories of inherited characteristics is based on the impossibility of identifying the real fathers in the ages when adultery was very common and divorce was rare Yes All these people who say that they are related to Shakespeare and Benjamin Franklin and Princess Diana sure you've a family tree that suggests you could be but unless you've had some sort of DNA test then it means almost nothing


  3. Anna Anna says:

    So by way of an old episode of Backlisted I learned about an essay by Nancy Mitford called The English Aristocracy which is part of this volume I have not read the whole collection only this essay I must say that this essay is simultaneously very informative and absolutely hilarious; I haven't laughed so much in a while and I also learned a great deal about the English aristocracy which put my beloved Downton Abbey in some perspective I highly recommend this if you have any interest in the aristocracy or laughingYou can read the essay here


  4. Wealhtheow Wealhtheow says:

    Suashed between fat books of grammar I found Noblesse Oblige a set of essays on English collouialisms and class in the twentieth century The Hon Mrs Peter Rodd aka Nancy Mitford's sharp little essay on the identifiable characteristics of the English aristocracy caused a flurry of letters and debate some of which is published in this volume Mitford set down a by no means comprehensive list of grammar vocabulary and modes of thought as Upper Class or Not Upper Class In the 1950s at least members of the English nobility avoided euphemism abbreviations and acronyms while simultaneously using phrases that only had meaning if you already knew the people or place involved She is followed by Alan SC Ross's turgid essay on sociological inguistics which was not worth slogging though as it basically is just a list of how to pronounce vowels There is a footnote per sentence which makes it hard going Evelyn Waugh apparently felt the need to stick his pointed little nose into the debate and wrote a thirty six page letter telling Mitford in the most patronizing language possible that she was a jumped up pretender and not very smart to boot Since Mitford has facts and figures from Burke's and the College of Heralds whereas Waugh has pithy anecdotes I can't trust him much Anyone who refers to a published author repeatedly as a cutie or endearing for daring to examine the society in which she lives or who spends AN ENTIRE PAGE reminding his readers that Nancy's father only succeeded to the peerage when she was 12 thus negating all her points because she's so very new to the peerage is just not someone I can bearLuckily Waugh's would be razor wit is followed by Strix's essay on collouialisms slang and how language shifts over generations and geography I think zie brings up the best points of all that gentlemen have a relish for incongruity they love to sprinkle their speech with ironic snips of lower class slang they call a battle a party but a dull party a disaster and they play with understatements vs overstatements Actual events or people are talked about in an understated way whereas feelings petrified nauseated firghtful are overstated Strix also ends with a fantastic paragraph All tradition is beueathed however distrustfully to the young The upper class young have not been dragooned about the use of words in the way their parents were; and they have ingested a richer variegated slice of the marzipan of English usage than reached in the ordinary way of business the gizzards of their elders If they are sensible and civic they will try to iron out these pregnant but elusive nuances and strive for a clear classless medium of communication in which all say 'Pardon?' and none say 'What?' every ball is a dance and every man's wife is 'the' wife I shall be surprised and disappointed if they make the slightest endeavour to impoverish our extraordinary national life by doing anything of the sort


  5. Jessica Jessica says:

    I love the Mitfords so I am biased but this is a satiric look into English upper and non upper class speech Funny Biting Snobbish For all of the humor behind it it is a compelling sociological study as well


  6. Kay Kay says:

    Although of course it's now uite dated thisexamination of U upper class and non U usage remains a classic Strangely enough though British people are famed for their ability to place others in terms of class and origins by their speech this wasn't a phenomenon that was much discussed before Mitford's book which is a lighthearted but still uite penetrating look at British speech Consisting of a group of pieces written by such literary luminaries as Mitford Evelyn Waugh John Betjeman and Christopher Sykes Mitford begins by examining the English aristocracy and based of course on personal experience delineates some key features of U vs non U speech such asU house non U homeU pudding non U puddingU rich non U wealthyThe following chapter by Professor Alan Ross is a somewhat Henry Higgins esue piece that sets out the distinctions in greater detail More amusing is an open letter from Evelyn Waugh to Mitford While much of this information as mentioned before is now passé it's still an interesting window on a period that survives especially in literature of the time so knowing a bit about the U and non U worlds is particularly useful for reading British novels Having lived in England during the 1980's I could still see the altered worlds of U and non U at workThe edition I've got of this book printed in the 1950's has wonderful illustrations by that peerless observer of class distinctions Osbert Lancaster


  7. Marie Marie says:

    The English are super weird about class


  8. Ginger Jane Ginger Jane says:

    Clearly I am not in on the joke


  9. Christian A. Christian A. says:

    Dynamic vigorous entertaining Noblesse Oblige is a must have book for your library Indeed any Englishman’s library Objectively tearing into the heart of English society this collection of essays — featuring Professor Alan S C Ross Miss Nancy Mitford Mr Evelyn Waugh and ‘Strix’ to name but a few — provides a clear landscape on the English aristocracy in 1956 But what makes the work so gripping? For me Professor Ross’s remark captures the energy of the debate An aristocrat is not “better educated cleaner or richer than someone who is not of this class” And instead choice of vocabulary naturally plays the greatest part for distinguishing social class; through a litmus test named U Upper Class and non U non Upper Class For instance saying “toilet” non U to mean “lavatory” U Subseuently a key idea in fostering hope for social mobility in a society cementing in social rigidity On the contrary the book is clearly outdated Published in 1956 Noblesse Oblige harnesses the crucible concepts of a late Victorian late imperial and late Greco Roman ideas on nobility Moreover — in the emerging context of a growing intellectual snobbery perhaps best seen today in neoliberal apologists through the Brexit debate — Mr Waugh and ‘Strix’ sharply call its readers to the typical “snobbery” of elitist values within the work And whilst accepting the work of Professor Ross as an objective observation with his work being the spark to start the flame for the Helsinki based magazine Neuphilologische Mitteilungen Mr Waugh and ‘Strix’ also highlight the importance of fashion such as the wearing of Georgian livery today being non U not by inductive superstition but by class taste and preference alone Noblesse Oblige is undoubtedly divisive Short a tad dry yet tinged with wit Noblesse Oblige is both sumptuously socialist and enough to vigorously churn the gut of any Communist of all provinces Noblesse Oblige is the must have book for aspiring aristocrats and critics alike


  10. Ariadna73 Ariadna73 says:

    Nancy Mitford wrote her essay as a joke; making fun of her own class She was one of the famous Mitford sisters young rich aristocrats Some of her sisters had affairs with prominent figures not always respectable such as Hitler and other Nazi heads Some other married into even nobility Even Lady D was directly related to one of themSo Nancy thought it would be very funny to write a manual from an insider on how to be a noble person or a U for Upper class opposed to a Non U character She made up a set of ridicule rules that a bit too late she found out were being taken seriously by her fellow upper class people It would have been too funny only if she hadn't had so much hate mail and so much serious success with itHere is the cover editorial page and contents of the book I read The book is also full of funny cartoons depicting the noble life  Here is a little poem she used to satirize the upper class ways More cartoons the best of the book to my taste Here are some examples on how to speak if you want to sound U and avoid being mistaken as a Non U person Heavens forbid And here are some interesting musings about fashion In conclusion this book is entertaining and if you do not take it seriously at all it can be uite funny A good piece for a short domestic flightPsst I have a blog too Take a look here


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Noblesse Oblige The Inimitable Investigation into the Idiosyncracies of English Idiom➫ [Ebook] ➦ Noblesse Oblige The Inimitable Investigation into the Idiosyncracies of English Idiom By Nancy Mitford ➶ – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk This collection of essays started with Nancy Mitford's article “The English Aristocracy” published in 1955 in the magazine Encounter The expressions “U” Upper Class and “Non U” non Upper C The Inimitable Epub Û This collection of essays started with Nancy Mitford's article “The English Aristocracy” published in in the magazine Encounter The expressions “U” Upper Class and “Non U” non Upper Class came to prominence in Noblesse Oblige Epub / this article which sold out the edition of the magazine immediately after publication The article caused a great deal Oblige The Inimitable Investigation into PDF/EPUB or of light hearted controversy The book was published one year later There is sharp disagreement among Oblige The Inimitable Kindle Õ the U's who have contributed to this bookConsidered one of the most gifted comic writers of her time Nancy Mitford said she wrote the article about her peers “In order to demonstrate the upper middle Oblige The Inimitable Investigation into PDF/EPUB or class does not merge imperceptibly into the middle class” She said differences of speech distinguish the members of one social class in England from another Unabashedly snobbish and devastatingly witty Miss Mitford achieved enormous success and popularity as one of Britain's most piercing observers of social manners Indeed one of Miss Mitford's pet concerns entered the history of obscure literary debates when in she published perhaps her most famous essay on upper class and non upper class forms of speech The essay sparked such a controversy in Britain with responses from many major literary figures that Miss Mitford was compelled a year later to bring out a thin book Noblesse Oblige with her disuisition on the subject as its centerpiece Her argument a set piece even today among literary parlor games was that the elegant euphemism used for any word is usually the non upperclass thing to say or in Miss Mitford's words simply non U.


About the Author: Nancy Mitford

The Inimitable Epub Û Nancy Mitford styled The Hon Nancy Mitford before her marriage and The Hon Mrs Peter Rodd thereafter was an English novelist and biographer one of the Bright Young People on the London social scene Noblesse Oblige Epub / in the inter war years She was born at Graham Street now Graham Place in Belgravia London the Oblige The Inimitable Investigation into PDF/EPUB or eldest daughter of Lord Redesdale and was brought up at Asthall Manor in Oxfordshire She was Oblige The Inimitable Kindle Õ t.