A shared language, so why the confusion?

Preamble - (That means the bit that goes at the beginning so that you know what this is all about.)

I here present to you a series of letters exchanged between Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh, Matron at that well known and loved institution, Twilight Lawns plc, Retirement Home for Persons of a Better Class.

This estimable establishment is situated in Norbury-sur-Mer, a charming little village in the beautiful county that is Surrey, England.

A somewhat sporadic series of correspondence takes place between Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh, and a gentleman of unspecified vintage, a Mr Jack Lincoln-Palmistry. This chap is,,, or was, the Poet Laureate, but is now retired. The reasons for his having shuffled off the cloak of Poet Laureate are temporarily obscure, but there are rumours that, frankly, the poor chap wasn't up to the task.

There is another person in this melange, a Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh. This good lady is a Resident at Twilight Lawns plc, but is extraordinarily intelligent and talented, with the result that she has been known to be useful in many situations. She is a godsend in many social situations. In this case, she is employed in writing the responses to the letters and e-mails which Mr Lincoln-Palmistry sends to Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh.

Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh, if it were to be admitted, has far more interesting and time-consuming activities to take up her time than to burden herself with the likes of Jack Lincoln-Palmistry.

A letter was received at Maison Plantagenet, at Vallauris, in the South of France to which was sent the following reply.

Dear Mr Lincoln-Palmistry - Poet Laureate (Retired),

I cannot imagine what you could possibly mean when you tell me that Beatrice Orme-Wilde has always had hidden talent; paper doylies and current buns. I can perhaps understand that you meant that she has a predilection of doilies or doyleys (a spelling I would have used, though from the original French, and therefore not incorrect)

But current buns? Did you mean buns in the present? Or buns that are existing? Perhaps you meant buns that are in progress…. or recent buns. Did you perhaps mean to infer that they were modern buns? Or perhaps up to date buns? Perhaps you leant towards contemporary buns?

Or then again, perhaps you meant to imply that the buns in question, being abstract nouns, were the flow, the stream, the undercurrent or the tide. But in that case, why on earth would our dear Beatrice even favour those? One would have thought that a lady of her advanced years and leanings would have been more likely to settle down with a small cake, perhaps a Battenberg, a small bread roll, with her hair in a French twist, or chignon… or even, and I hesitate to put forward this alternative, perhaps a currant bun.

Your most obedient servant,

Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh

on behalf of

Mrs Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh (Matron)

Dame Judi Dench, wearing a chignon in 'Ladies in Lavender'

One would imagine that dear Beatrice Orme-Wilde would prefer to be seen in public wearing a chignon, or what has also been termed, a French Bun, or French Roll.
One would imagine that dear Beatrice Orme-Wilde would prefer to be seen in public wearing a chignon, or what has also been termed, a French Bun, or French Roll.

Currant Buns, Mr Lincoln-Palmistry; please note the spelling of the first word here.

More than one bun, I am afraid, but beggars can't be choosers.
More than one bun, I am afraid, but beggars can't be choosers.

To which the Dreadful Lincoln-Palmistry Person replied briefly.

Careful, your kind bones are showing. Your popularity will increase and lets face it sir, that has been known to flag. It is a cultured form of offence I feel that goes back several generations and is inimitably yours. You must not weaken in your resolve to hold a place within the Guinness book of records in several categories, simultaneously.

Naturally, we responded.

Dear Sir,

Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh has asked if I would inform you that she has never been popular. She continued in this vein, as follows:

I have never been popular, as far as I know.

Lusted over?

Definitely.

Obsessed over?

Naturally.

Discussed about at length, to no obvious or satisfactory conclusion?

Certainly.

But popular? No I’m afraid not. My groups of admirers, whether of the lusting variety, or of similar leanings, were legion, apparently. Those who obsessed, maintained their obsessions in a circumspect manner, and, as far as I know, divulged their feelings to few or no others.

The Council of Trent, when compared with those who gathered in chambers, or the forum to discuss me and my place in the natural order of things, even they had only marginally fewer numbers. But one must put that into the context of a poorer transport system, and the vagaries of accommodation for those worthy and venerable persons.

Somehow, and I can’t imagine why, it has the ring of a letter from Three Chimneys, The Green, Cobbenham, Surrey; the home at which Charlotte Bartlett spent her happiest days as a child. Perhaps Fiona, after all, isn’t of the slow learning variety, but is a member of the CountyGentry. It is a thought, don’t you know.

I take back all I have ever said in defence of correct punctuation; a lack of it, in others, makes life so much more interesting... if nebulous.

But the plot thickened. As "thick as soup", one would say.

However, what had started out as a nice little Consommé, now seemed to have descending into a rather aggressive Pottage

Dear Mr Lincoln-Palmistry, I have just received a scathing letter from Charlotte Bartlett, concerning my last letter to you. Apparently Three Chimneys, The Green, Cobbenham, Surrey is not the address of the family home of the Bartlett family. The Bartlett family, said Miss Charlotte Bartlett has written (no doubt with gritted teeth), have for millennia lived at Three Chimneys, The Green, Lesser Cobbenham, Surrey.

Isn’t it amazing how news travels?

But even more distressing than the scathing letter from Dear Charlotte Bartlett was my horror when reading your “Your popularity will increase and lets face it sir...”

Aren’t you aware, you dreadfully inadequately educated person, that you should have written “Your popularity will increase and let’s face it sir...”?

You meant to say “let us face it”, I am sure. Oh please, Mr Lincoln-Palmistry, Please, Please, Please endeavour to get your punctuation and spelling under control.

Your most obedient servant,

Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh

on behalf of

Mrs Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh (Matron)

A rather vitriolic reply from the Lincoln-Palmistry person, maintaining that he was "MAD" at some of our pleasantries directed at him, resulted in this response


Dear Mr Barking-Mad-Lincoln-Palmistry (How jealous I am... I only have one hyphen, and that not even a pre-WWI hyphen

Or are you one of the Barking-Mad-Lincoln-Palmistrys... a member of the Mad-Palmistry family who trace their lineage to the Mad and the Palmistry families who originated in Barking, Essex?

But I digress. You sent a rather rambling letter to Matron quite recently, and no doubt you will remember its content. So I won’t include it all here.

You almost made it to the final paragraph without a glaring error, or perchance you inserted the sweet offerings following, as a reward to me for ploughing through your learned dissertation?

In the following, two little gems are displayed:

“Way to the witches house (I’d turn back if I were you.) and a hand points away”.

“Underneath is a sign with certain tenements expounded.”

The sign to which Mr Lincoln-Palmistry refers. Please note: Dear Jumbled Jack confused "sign" with "sentence".
The sign to which Mr Lincoln-Palmistry refers. Please note: Dear Jumbled Jack confused "sign" with "sentence".

My helpful reply

In the first, you left out the Possessive Apostrophe in witches… The house was that of the witch, so it should have been written thus:

“Way to the witch’s house (I’d turn back if I were you.) and a hand points away”.

However, there was some confusion here, because I think you meant to convey that there was a house belonging to a single witch (the Wicked Witch of the South), but you had written witches which is the Plural of witch. Were there more than one witch? Not in your dissertation, apparently.

However, if there had been a plurality of witches, the following would have been correct:

“Way to the witches’ house (or houses, perhaps?) (I’d turn back if I were you.) and a hand points away”.

In the second, I think the word you were groping for, somewhat unsuccessfully, was tenets. A tenet is a principle, a theory, a belief, a precept, a rule, an opinion, a view, an ideology.

Tenement, on the other hand, is a block of flats, an apartment block, an apartment building, public housing, a house divided into several separate residences.

The term tenement tends to have negative connotations, and one feels that the Wicked Witch of the South, wicked as she may have been, would not have lived in a section of public housing with riff raff.

By the way, your dissertation remains flawed, not only grammatically and in punctuation and in Malapropisms, but also in an Historical and Literary sphere. I seemed to remember that the Wicked Witch did not hail from the South, as you have stated. On a minimal amount of research, I have ascertained that the lady you describe was from a more Occidental direction (My little pun)… or in Halstead Parlance, from the West.

Do I need to remind you, Mr Lincoln-Palmistry, that you hail from Halstead, Essex, and it was Halstead to which you were forced to return after you blotted your copy book whilst residing at Twilight Lawns.

Your most obedient servant,

Maude Plantagenet (OnlyOneHyphen) Featheringstonehaugh

on behalf of

Mrs Hilda Plantagenet (OnlyOneHyphen) Featheringstonehaugh (Matron)

Halstead, from two perspectives

Halstead, as you seem to imagine it, Mr Lincoln-Palmistry... with the assistance of  your poetic imagination.
Halstead, as you seem to imagine it, Mr Lincoln-Palmistry... with the assistance of your poetic imagination.
Halstead, as it appears to my eyes... if I were ever brave enough to visit.
Halstead, as it appears to my eyes... if I were ever brave enough to visit.

Dear Matron, or Maude, or whatever person I am writing to,

Dear Matron, or Maude, or whatever person I am writing to,

I must confess, the insertion of commas, into long sentences, is scary. When one knows the reader is addicted to correction. It is a terrifying process. It takes an awful lot of courage to live in the same Internet area let alone type anything. Surely there is a satiation point? A place at which one puts away one’s pen of correction into a nearby well and admits quietly to oneself that the world will never be free of superfluous commas and the like. Unless one is on a mission. I suspect that an error free page would give one a feeling of emptiness. A further feeling of futility would then ensue, leaving the reader dangerously depressed.

Can’t you rush to the knife draw or something useful?

Dear Mr Jack Lincoln-Palmistry,

You struck the nail (the Barnstaple variety) well and firmly on the head. All this is true.

I will return later to correct the punctuation in the first couple (or trio) of lines of your most recent missive to Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh.

Your obedient servant,

Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh

Having returned from afternoon tea and a slice of Battenberg, I feel refreshed and ready to take on the onerous task of answering your last missive.

Dear Mr Lincoln-Palmistry - Poet Laureate (Retired),

One feels that a little assistance is called for here. In the following extract the commas are used incorrectly.

“I must confess, the insertion of commas, into long sentences, is scary. When one knows the reader is addicted to correction. It is a terrifying process. It takes an awful lot of courage to live in the same Internet area let alone type anything. Surely there is a satiation point?”

Here is my amended work. I hope you will find it helpful.

I must confess (No comma is required here.) (One could have inserted that here.) the insertion of commas (No comma is required here.) into long sentences (No comma is required here.) is scary. When one knows the reader is addicted to correction it is a terrifying process. (These two last sentences were, in fact, one sentence and so one should not have broken it with a full stop and capital latter. Or perhaps I completely miss your point and a semicolon could have appeared in the second sentence, between "correction" and "it".) It takes an awful lot of courage to live in the same Internet area (A comma, or preferably a semicolon is required here.) let alone type anything. Surely there is a satiation point?

Your homework for next period is to gather a small but representative collection of letters from an imaginary friend, perhaps someone residing in Southend-on-Sea and punctuate those letters satisfactorily so that one could understand what the poor dear might be attempting to convey.

I award you a B- for effort

Your most obedient servant,

Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh

Another little missive of encouragement and support for the Poet Laureate (Retired)

Dear Mr Lincoln-Palmistry - Poet Laureate (Retired),

I have marked your written expression exercise. Thank you for submitting it to me so promptly this time. As you can see there has been a marked improvement in your work, and I am sure, that in exercising the diligence you have shown here, you will very soon be writing the English language with the capability only surpassed by a bush Hottentot coming to terms with Esquimoesian/Esquimauxian (the language of the Inuit, if one has to explain).

Oh! I’m so glad I have your life to use as a benchmark. When one leads a life, interminably standing ankle deep in mud, waiting for the usual procession of transvestites to appear upon your horizon, to wander into view and then exit stage left, must sound like the zenith of life... or should I have said, the nadir. At this, my dear fellow, I can only stand and stare with something approaching envy.

However, it continues to astound me, Sir, considering the recent publication of your book: 'WRITING MEANINGFUL (BUT NOT TOO LENGTHY) POEMS FOR FRIENDS & THE MARKETPLACE’, that, as you maintain that you have the soul and the yearnings of a poet, versifier and writer, you seem to have little love, or enthusiasm for the language you use as your tool in trade. It is a glorious language, Mr Lincoln-Palmistry - Poet Laureate (Retired), and is most forgiving when it is used as a tool for levity, criticism, serious discourse or the other hundred and one services to which it can be put.

Yet your sum uses of it have been the occasional bit of whimsy, a four word reply on odd occasions and your last: "When one has a life, one has less time for trivia".

Consider the Parable of the Talents; search your brain and biblical knowledge, and see if you can recall what happened to the servant who buried his talents. The Master returned, and seeing that he had... You may continue at your leisure. You seem to have enough of that.

Your most obedient servant,

Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh

End of this collection of charming little exchanges between those of us at Twilight Lawns plc and Mr Lincoln-Palmistry

**************************************************************************

Being a person of taste and refinement, with a respect for the English language, its grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Have you read 'WRITING MEANINGFUL (BUT NOT TOO LENGTHY) POEMS FOR FRIENDS & THE MARKETPLACE’

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113 comments

annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England

It's a long time since I've read a hub of yours and that's a shame. This is hilarious. I love your idea for delivering spelling and grammar tuition. I can hear the 'posh' voices of those who write these letters too.

Thanks for such an entertaining read this Sunday afternoon.

Ann


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 23 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Wow! And Thank you!

I haven't done anything on HubPages for yonks and not only was it surprising and thrilling to get your very kind response, but I was staggered inasmuch as I only posted it about a quarter of an hour before you commented.

Thank you again, Ann, and let me say, how nice it is to hear from you.

Bad news, though! This is the first of a trio of scribblings involving Mr Lincoln-Palmistry and the Mesdames Plantagenet-Featherinstonehaugh.


annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England

Great! Can't wait for the next!


gposchman profile image

gposchman 23 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Delightful article, but English is not the only culprit. I worked in a company that had a number of employees who all spoke Spanish. One from Cuba, another from Costa Rica, another from Mexico, and culturally and idiomatically they spoke very different dialects. An insult could have been taken except they were aware they had very different takes on the same language and the differences often led to sessions of laughter and discussion.

Gene Poschman


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 23 months ago from South Africa

I think I should appoint Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh as my editor. She will be so busy editing my work that she will have no time left writing responses to the letters and e-mails sent to Twilight Lawns plc, Retirement Home for Persons of a Better Class.

Thanks for a delighting and enlightening hub, Twilight Lawns.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 23 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dear Ann, I have one thing to say, and that is "Mwah!"

Ian


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 23 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Martie, Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh is completely unfamiliar with the Internet, but with the help of Raj, the Assistant Gardener at Twilight Lawns, Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh has looked at your writings on HubPages, and found absolutely nothing to edit, neither to improve upon in its presentation and capable handling of the English Language.

Rest assured of that.

As dear Maude was heard to say, "It's so nice to know that decent standards are being upheld, not only here, but also the the rest of the Empire".


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 23 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Gene, I can understand how the local and national variations in the Spanish language may have had their changes in nuance and regional variations, but Mr Lincoln-Palmistry and the Mesdames Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh share a common language within the same country, so his manipulation of the rules of grammar and pronunciation could always be heard and shuddered at when listening to him. However, the more hideous errors in punctuation only became obvious when he put pen to paper.

The written word suffered badly, and received bruises and lacerations, but the written word, I am afraid received an almost terminal injury.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 23 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

E-Worldz, than you for your visit, and welcome to HubPages.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 23 months ago from TEXAS

Dearest darling Ian! You’re a delightfully incorrigible writer, tossing out subtle (and not-so-subtle) facts and fantasies for the edification, delight and puzzlement of your too-long-deprived, adoring fans and followers! I’m so happy to see you and your continuing account of the doings and writings of the odd assortment of persons and residents at Twilight Lawns. Here, now, you’ve included additional people, homes, locations and language tangles, all of which further spice up the brew for us to try to assimilate.

I was initially especially pleased to learn more about Three Chimneys, The Green, Cobbenham, Surrey, the home in which Charlotte Bartlett, one of my all-time favorite characters, spent her youth. As I read this tidbit of information, I had wondered whether it may have been the scene of her account of youthful romantic mischief which she related to the venerable Eleanor Lavish in the lovely Florentine field. But then, reading further in your treatise that Miss Bartlett had vigorously denied and disapproved the notion that it had been the Bartlett family home, I began to wonder whether, perhaps, that overdone denial could have been her guilty effort to cover up any surviving evidence of her shame which might have lingered in the house’s secret places? There may be more shameful activities afoot than Mr. Lincoln-Palmistry’s atrocious sins against grammar and punctuation, (although for a Poet Laureate (retired), he does seem to be seriously lacking in basic grammar-school knowledge and/or applied usage of some areas of grammar and punctuation. It’s a quandary!)

Er . . . what, pray tell, IS a pre-WW1 hyphen? Now that you’ve aroused my curiosity, I simply must know! Google surely doesn’t know, so I must beseech the only authority: YOU.

I definitely prefer Mr. Lincoln-Palmistry’s vision of Halstead. For that one, I’d trade the ranch, gladly!

I could go on and on about this writ, but I’m almost overly saturated in awe already. I will be reading it again to find more subtlety and raucous underhanded humor. Can’t wait to hear more about this menagerie of characters! Keep writing!

Love you! Nellieanna


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 23 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dearest Nellieanna,

How wonderful to hear from you again. I wonder who else would remember the field on that magical trip into the Italian countryside with the deplorable English Rector, the charismatic caretto driver, Lucy, George, Miss lavish and the raunchy Miss Bartlett, almost letting her girlish indiscretions out of the bag.

A pre WWI hyphen? Let me explain. Apparently, in the class system which almost strangles the United Kingdom, at times, if one has a hyphen which predates the Great War (brought about by that dreadful U-turn in Sarajevo, which was added to by the exuberance of the misguided Gavrilo Princip), one ca be considered to be socially acceptable as far as hyphens are concerned. However, if one’s hyphen had been created after 1914 or thereabouts (I’m not sure whether it could have been after 1918) one would be required to buy the first round of drinks when entering an inn/hostelry/pub bar.

I, as you are aware, have a hyphenated surname, and this would make it difficult for me; generous person that I am, but not knee deep in the green stuff. But being a non drinking Muslim, that lets me off.

Phew.

I don’t know why I suddenly returned to HubPages, but to be greeted and received so well and generously, by you, my dearest one, and by those above, I must admit I feel charmed, flattered, and not a little grateful.

Love you too!

Ian


gposchman profile image

gposchman 23 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Twilight Lawns,

I guess George Bernard Shaw should have added, Why can't the English learn to write as well.

Again a delightful article

Gene Poschman


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 23 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Gene,

And a delightful addition to your initial comment. I love it.

Yours?

Brilliant.

By the way, I hang my head in shame. I never go over what I have written... always assuming I have written what I aimed to write. Why else would I not have noticed that I meant to write "The spoken word suffered badly, and received bruises and lacerations, but the written word, I am afraid, received an almost terminal injury".


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 23 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Gposchman, GBS was an Irishman from Dublin (not the same as an Irishman from 'beyond the Pale', but that's another matter), and being the clever dick he was would have enjoyed pulling up any and every Englishman on his English. He was sharp one, as is Ian here, but not quite sharp enough to cut himself.

Now I'm a stickler for accurate English, and I've pulled up the odd Yank for trying to commit Harakiri on the altar of English, but this is sharp with a capital 'S'. It's even got blood stains on it!

Ian, d'you mean to say you don't go over your own writing after you've set it down here? You leave yourself w-i-d-e open, lad. Don't worry, I'm not about to bounce an 'Upkeep' through it. Next time raise your torpedo nets a bit (just a bit of play on my name, Lancaster).


gposchman profile image

gposchman 22 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

As my current writing genre is first person detective stories circa 1930, I'm afraid my American English would not pass muster, and GBS would simply shrug and say "I told you Americans haven't been speaking or writing English for years'. However, I hope that Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Candler would applaud.

Gene Poschman


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 22 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

I'd applaud as well. There are those in this neck of the woods who would sniff at my usage, never mind yours. Some would say only Oxbridge dons should write books. Luckily most of us thumb our noses at them.

My books are written in the first person, present tense. That way they're more immediate (remember 'All Quiet on the Western Front'? E M Remarque wrote another book 'The Black Obelisk', that's also written that way. You feel you're there).

Write the way you feel you're happy with, and what you're comfortable with.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

Dearest One. Oh, thank you for the hyphen explanation. What a relief to know! I hadn't even considered hyphenated surnames. Was only thinking of the questionable punctuation mark of which I'm overly fond. I've been rubbing shoulders with Mensans who're intolerant of it as punctuation beyond dictionary-approved word pairs which require it and possibly two-part names, although some of their own peccadillos, both literary and social, would literally curl your hair. I try to maintain a low profile when there.

When you introduced me to the Merchant-Ivory film with those precious characters, it became a fixture in my DVD collection (which has kept growing since we compared our collections). I re-watch that film from time to time. It's one of the favs which never gets put into the alphabetized shelves, but stays on the TV stand to be easily chosen.

This year's resolution is to read from 9 to 12 classics (or more) and I've assembled a special shelf of candidates. I'm reading John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" now. But I must get a copy of the original E. M. Forster book on which that film is based.

I'm not a speedy reader, both by choice & necessity. Reasons are my eyes themselves, then that I love to savor (or as you and your cast of characters above would type it, savour) the words, backtrack and read only at the speed my quirky heart and head prompt. So my resolution is an ambitious one, unless I find myself doing nothing but reading, which is an unlikely prospect these days. I hardly find time for sleep! (By the way, I had to fight with spellcheck to type savour. It kept changing it back to savor. But in a comment to this particular hub of yours, I had to do it.)

I hope your return to HP will continue! We NE-E-E-ED-S you! Hugs.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Ancaster, thank you for the advice., i will make a point of looking through what I have written, and perhaps, just perhaps, I will notice any speling an gramatical misstakes (Triple sic).

By the way, please don't go away with the idea that out American cousins need the odd push in the right direction when it comes to their use of the English Language... Of course, some do, as is obvious by the ghastly spelling and use of punctuation that I have seen, at times, on Hub Pages. But, as I say, "not all".

May I point you, instead, in the direction of a great friend of mine, Nellieanna. She writes the most beautiful English and her knowledge of tenses and correct punctuation far outshines mine, and possibly, far outshines that of your top educationalists in the field... on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Gene Poschman, my friend, when you refer, obliquely, to the America of the 1930s it makes my mind spring immediately to the names of some of the greatest writers in the English Language ever:

Frederic Prokosch, John Steinbeck and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The world would be a poorer place without the wonderful works of these three men, and more. Never may it be said that our shared written heritage is depicted less gloriously by those across The Pond, than those cloistered here, in Oxbridge and the like.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dearest Nellieanna,

Sings:

"You say savor and I say savour.

You say color and I say colour.

Behavior, behaviour;

Neighbor, neighbour.

Let's call the whole thing off"

(Obviously to be sung by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong)

Dear Heart, let's not call the whole thing off.

I'm ahead of you, my dear. This Summer I read virtually every novel written by John Steinbeck... again. As we have discussed, he is one of my most favourite (favorite) authors. I love his writing and can think of few books that I could read again and again, and then want to pick it up and start from the beginning, than 'East of Eden'.

My reading methods are so similar to yours. I take ages to read a book, and frequently go back to savour passages. But having bought a Kindle, I find, for some reason, that my reading rate has improved enormously, but I still enjoy what I read and although I can remember where favourite parts are, there is a slight difficulty being able to go straight to them as previously when reading the written word.

Perhaps this is because there is some sort of photographic memory involved, which doesn’t work so well with Kindle as with those paper and card things that people had in the olden days. I can’t remember what they were called, but it will come to me, I hope.

Oh yes. Books. They were called books.

I read ‘A Room with a View’ a couple of years ago, and as you know, the Merchant Ivory film is possible my most favourite film of all time. However, having read it, I came away with the feeling that I didn’t even like most of the characters. Even Lucy and Mrs Honeychurch. I thought they were insufferable snobs. Hey ho. Maybe I should try to remember that the action takes place in pre WWI England, and things have changed.

I don’t like E. M. Forster’s style in his novels very much. However, some of his short stories are amazing.

‘Maurice’, I found to be muddled and unconvincing, but then again, it could have been because of the main theme which, perhaps, he was trying to camouflage a little.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dearest Nellieanna,

Sings:

"You say savor and I say savour.

You say color and I say colour.

Behavior, behaviour;

Neighbor, neighbour.

Let's call the whole thing off"

(Obviously to be sung by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong)

Dear Heart, let's not call the whole thing off.

I'm ahead of you, my dear. This Summer I read virtually every novel written by John Steinbeck... again. As we have discussed, he is one of my most favourite (favorite) authors. I love his writing and can think of few books that I could read again and again, and then want to pick it up and start from the beginning, than 'East of Eden'.

My reading methods are so similar to yours. I take ages to read a book, and frequently go back to savour passages. But having bought a Kindle, I find, for some reason, that my reading rate has improved enormously, but I still enjoy what I read and although I can remember where favourite parts are, there is a slight difficulty being able to go straight to them as previously when reading the written word.

Perhaps this is because there is some sort of photographic memory involved, which doesn’t work so well with Kindle as with those paper and card things that people had in the olden days. I can’t remember what they were called, but it will come to me, I hope.

Oh yes. Books. They were called books.

I read ‘A Room with a View’ a couple of years ago, and as you know, the Merchant Ivory film is possible my most favourite film of all time. However, having read it, I came away with the feeling that I didn’t even like most of the characters. Even Lucy and Mrs Honeychurch. I thought they were insufferable snobs. Hey ho. Maybe I should try to remember that the action takes place in pre WWI England, and things have changed.

I don’t like E. M. Forster’s style in his novels very much. However, some of his short stories are amazing.

‘Maurice’, I found to be muddled and unconvincing, but then again, it could have been because of the main theme which, perhaps, he was trying to camouflage a little.


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

Ah! I love your takeoff lyrics to "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off"but definitely agree with your LET'S NOT!! No way!

I've previously only admired John Steinbeck from afar, but now I'm in love. His words are like pearls and droplets of precious water. The introduction to "East of Eden" by David Wyatt is fairly lengthy and filled with "Ah,Ha!" lines. I paused again & again to relish them. He allowed me to 'know" John Steinbeck better, as well as to more deeply know the characters, what they are doing & why in the book. Here are a couple of my favorite David Wyatt quotes from that introduction: "Whether one is really loved, this cannot be known. The only love one feels is the love one feels for someone else. Like the mind, love is lonely, an emotion self-confirmed." And . . . because there is much emphasis on parental-child, sibling love & relationship acceptance and preferences: "Pain he feels in being human is not because he is not loved, but because he loves."

I own & have multi-watched the 3-episode 1981 TV series based on "East of Eden", which led me to thirst to read the book. Jane Seymour as beautiful, monstrous Cathy, is totally brilliant, as are all the characters in their roles. If you haven't seen it, I hope you will. Perhaps the order of my internalizing the story is reversed, but so far, it is working OK.

I'm glad you mentioned your response to E.M.Forster's "Room With A View", Ian. I love the film far too much to dilute with any negative flavor of the book which your report describes. Besides, it will be awhile before I'm through most or all the couple dozen books I've lined up to read. Most are from my own library, which I've had for varying amounts of time, needing to own them & seriously intending to read, but haven't yet. A couple of this group I'd wanted to have and read, but didn't, so I've ordered.

Just having the actual books in one place and being able to review the titles gets my dopamines triggering! I'm still a reading addict, it seems, but must remind myself that it's the journey, not the destination! That's the trouble with setting a goal, I think. My normal pattern in both reading & writing is by choice of the present moment and its inspiration. But for too long, now, the computer has hogged it. I still very much prefer to hold a physical book in my hand to reading online. I'm even bad about printing out online reading material to read and study if it's of significance & not very brief in length. Some of these books I'm preparing to read are such beautiful editions, which I acquired while a Folio Society subscriber. So it's a double pleasure to hold them. Some were collected many years ago, so their relative antiquity holds charm for me. I'm still struggling to set aside pure reading time. I'm overly involved online, and when other people are involved, it's difficult to prioritize other, totally private activities, though when I'm into the latter, the former just get short-changed, which can feel a bit distressing. But life and living fully are made up of often tough choices and priorities, aren't they? I figure that I will be around for the duration, no matter what, so must tend to the nourishment of my body and soul in areas which will be there for me, pretty much 'no matter what' - barring loss of sight and mobility, of course. So tending to and taking care of those are priorities, too. . . and there goes the time! (wink)


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snakeslane 22 months ago from Canada

Dear Ian,

You must be so smug knowing the intricacies of the English language in such great depth, almost (but not quite) out of my depth, but fortunately I am a good skimmer, or so I've been told, and was able without too much inconvenience skip straight through this fascinating correspondence without any inconvenience, although there were some awkward pauses at the aforementioned comma conundrums. That being said, I say to heck with it, one can live without commas, in fact any grammar at all as we do when we text. Although having said that we will of course be in danger of being misunderstood a good percentage of the time, but why not add some drama to the dreariness of languishing aimlessly in the bowels of the home for pretentious, presumptuous ageing prigs. I say vive la difference, the difference between knowing your shit, and knowing you're shit! Regards, snakeslane


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snakeslane 22 months ago from Canada

And please, before you correct my comment, let me assure you Mr Lawns, that I am aware I bragged about being able to skip right through, and in doing so clearly missed a step (while rushing madly to post) and now eating humble pie while I await your reply...


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gposchman 22 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Ian Dorking-Clark,

I must apologize for not reading your profile's greater detail, I would have referred to you as above, I hope it is appropriate. I missed your response to me earlier. I suspect my favorite authors probably run to a more common variety then those you mentioned, from both sides of the Pond. I have a great regard for any and all who take pen to paper in attempting a novel. Consciously or subconsciously writing reveals a bit of the character of the story teller for all to see and that takes courage.

Gene Pposchman


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellieanna, I used to be in that “I love the feel of books and the smell of the paper and blah blah blah” camp, but I have become so disabled that there are many books that I cannot even lift; or the cardboard edges hurt my hands. I have the novels of Evelyn Waugh in one volume which I can hardly lift. For some reason, I find it difficult to read at home, and do most of my reading when in the car on the Common. Even carrying a regular sized book to the car, when I am on crutches, is impossible. So thank God (and Sunnie Day, who ordered it from Amazon, US for me, and posted it to me) for my kindle. It is small enough to hold in my hands and also has many books on it. 618 at the latest count.

I am glad that you have “taken my advice” concerning E. M. Forster’s ‘A Room with a View’. I, as you may well remember, would like to live in Walt Disney World... the world of happy endings, but as part of his summing up at the end of the book, he alludes, very briefly to the relationship between George and Lucy as having been somewhat shattered by a peccadillo of George’s or something of the sort. That is not what I wanted to hear.

I have both the James Dean and the Jane Seymour versions on DVD, and I can assure you that Jo Van Fleet’s depiction of Cathy is amazingly frightening. I love that thread of the story.

Talking of which (the erroneous “genes make a bad person” theory), have you read William March’s ‘The Bad Seed’? It’s worth it. Stunning depiction of gratuitous evil.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dearest Snakeslane. I was only thinking of you the other day and with great affection. So I will forgive your cavalier attitude to punctuation and assume that you were feeling very naughty, and didn’t mean any harm by it.

I relayed you comments to Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh, whose comment can only be described as sounding like that of a very well bred and well educated war horse having been told that its appearance resembled that of a cart horse with a regional accent.

“Pshahhh!”

When I suggested that Matron, our dearly beloved Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh, should be made privy to your denigration of the simple comma, I was informed that Mrs P-F had already heard of it on the grapevine and that she had taken to her bed; covered here fevered temples with 4711 and stated that, although she, personally, would always use the correct pronunciation and punctuation of the better classes, she would have to admit that she couldn’t think any better of the Colonials for not doing so.

And also, my dear, let me hasten to add that I don’t “know the intricacies of the English language in such great depth” as I pretend to do, but I do love to irritate, and when someone goes out of his way to deliberately misuse parts of our glorious shared language, I am known to spring forth and do battle, somewhat.

Take the time, if you wish, to look through what I have written, especially in comments and answers, and you will find a plethora of typos, incorrect punctuation (usually accidental, I admit) and the like. As I have already said, I seldom go over my responses to check for errors, and have made some clangers... mainly because, when I do check, I read what I meant to write rather than what I have written.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Gene, I must admit to being one of those you have mentioned. I am, as one would say, an "accidental novelist", inasmuch as I have scribbled away at a collection of words, sentences and paragraphs, mainly for my own entertainment, and then, by chance, noticed that I have managed over 40,000 words. That makes the collected effort, a novel, if nothing else.

I doubt it anyone else will ever see it, although I have shared sections with friends, but that is the sum total of “publications”.


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alancaster149 22 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Publish and be damned. If you make some cash out of it you can finger your nose at the critics (we all have them, I'm married to mine).


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gposchman 22 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Ian,

Create space and smashwords provide the ability to publish a eBook, and it will cost you nothing so you can sell or give it away as you please. I suspect your Hub following would be very interested in reading what you have written.

Gene Poschman


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

What? Both of my Hub Followers?

Actually, Gene, I have used Smashwords and Amazon and I have "published " two books already.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

Your genius will emerge on its own high excellence!


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snakeslane 22 months ago from Canada

Hi Ian, Aw, yes I did read comments while I was waiting around for the proverbial ---- to hit the fan as we in the colonies like to say. I'm sorry I drove our dearly beloved Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh to her bed with my naughty remarks. I went to public school in the 60s and we were mostly 'free-schooled' in those years. I'm afraid we leaped straight into creative writing without studying very much grammar at all which is why I have so many dangling participles to this day! I'm not going to blame my poor composition skills entirely on being randomly educated though, I know the teachers did try. And then it didn't help much when I went off to work as a 'Journalist' that I always had an editor to correct my copy. But enough about me, this is a charming piece of Twilight Lawns work and I'm happy to see you (and Ms Nellieanna) back to your tete a tete in the comments. It's always a pleasure. I'm sorry to hear of your mobility issues, but very glad to know you have a Kindle full of reading material! Give Mrs ...stonehaugh a big hug from me, and tell her I will try to mind my Ps and Qs (and commas!).


gposchman profile image

gposchman 22 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Ah Ian,

I should have known better, and done my research on the internet before commenting, but that's what comes of late night reading and not paying attention.

Gene


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

Dearest Ian. I don’t like disabilities limiting your physical choices. Thank heaven for Sunnie Day, our precious Kim, for introducing you to a Kindle so that you needn’t be further limited from reading! 618 books on there! Wowow! My iPhone & Mac provide book-reading online possibilities. I may give in & collect some on there. Could be nice for some situations in which having an actual book would be awkward or otherwise unavailable.

I recall that you’ve preferred to read in the car on the Commons, which has somehow always communicated to me the imagery of perfumed flowers, cool grasses and misty air of an urban English garden. I’ve pictured you many times in this setting, looking like a leading character in a classic story, which should be a period setting, except that the car would betray that imagery. I haven’t even toyed with switching it to a horse-drawn carriage. That would totally betray the reality of my Ian reading as he describes!

I can empathize with you about holding books, especially large collections. Since having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my right hand, some things have become more difficult or awkward. Typing and playing piano are just fine, but some intricate kinds of operations, not so much. One of my stepdaughters gave me a beautiful, humongous volume of 5 Dickens’ novels I’d considered “Great Expectations” on my 2015 reading list, but would need to get it in a single binding or use online reading in order to manage it. I handle normal sized books the way I handle thick notebooks of my handwritten poetry when transcribing them. It’s virtually ‘hands-free’. On the wide arm of this sofa where I sit to use my laptop, I prop them open with a clever little flexible device with weights on both ends, specifically designed for holding pages open.

How glad I am you’ve warned me about Forster’s downer ending to “A Room With A View”! I’m already too realistic when it comes to assuming unions will blissfully last forever. The last thing I need to read is any allusion that the blissful scene on the screen gets derailed, especially by George’s own ineptness. Lucy can a bit of a ‘loose cannon’ herself, so anything could go amiss. I much prefer to just go away with the vision of them delightffully in love, framed by their window view of Florence and the Basilica Sanctae Mariae Floris. It justifies the entire story! Interjecting doubt into it and prolong the anguish by leaving it dangling in mid air, just monstrous! Not what I want to hear, either!

I must find the James Dean version of the movie to see and compare. Jane Seymour’s Cathy is pretty scary and depicts the contrast of an angelic appearance and a satanic heart so well. The “mother-monster” thread is woven all through the story, which she exemplifies. A garden of eden significance of parents/children, siblings’ love/hate and man/woman lies under and rises to the surface of the story in Steinbeck’s unique interpretations.

I’ve not read “The Bad Seed”, but vaguely remember seeing the movie years ago. I’ll look for it. Thanks for the tip. I admit that, to me, the scariest elements of a horror story are never aliens or ugly creatures, but that ‘resident evil’ in the hearts of ordinary human beings. Shudder. . .

On a more pleasant note, how delightful to see Snakeslane posting and her delicious comment about the banter we tend to get into here on your comment threads, Ian! Smile . . .


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dear Nellieanna, how kind. Unfortunately, my "genius will emerge on its own high excellence!"... but it's taking a long time.

Ha ha ha!


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Snakeslane, I love your writing skills and also I love who you are, my friend.

To be honest, I wouldn’t know a dangling participles if I tripped over one.

I just like to make sure that what I write is, if possible, as clear to others when the see it on the page, as it was in my mind.

I also went to a public school... one of the best in West Australia, but I can honestly say that, as I was sort of coping with lessons and didn’t seem to floundering openly, they ignored me and let me get on with it.

My love of the English Language came from my parents’ influence and also, from the career I eventually took to; teaching. And also, by serendipity, by the people I came to know during my time at Teachers’ College, and the one or two louche, yet incredibly well read and gifted writers and lovers of our language, who entered my life, and there still remain.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

The Common can be quite charming at times. I am afraid that my car is a poor substitute for the horse drawn carriage that you describe, but whilst reading those words, my mind took up the theme and I imagined being driven to that field in Tuscany, not in a horse drawn carriage as one would travel through Paris of Rome in those romantic days, but by the carreto, as driven by the charismatic driver in that memorable scene.

I imagine him driving to a white dusty road and leaving me in the back to read, while he goes away to prepare a light lunch of pane, pomodori, formaggi con olio e aglio.

And then, I suddenly thought of the ‘A Room With A View’ version for Television, that I initially thought too much like the Merchant Ivory version... until I saw it through to the very end.

Nellieanna, I insist that you should find that and watch it. You will love the different approach to the story.

Here followeth a quote from Wikipedia: A Room with a View is televised adaptation of E. M. Forster's novel. A Room with a View, written by Andrew Davies. It was announced in 2006 and filmed in the summer of 2007. A Room with a View was broadcast on 4 November 2007, on ITV.

Laura Mackie, ITV director of drama, has said that this adaptation "captures the spirit of Forster’s most memorable novel, but delivers it in a fresh, engaging way for a modern audience."

It was the first time real-life father and son Timothy and Rafe Spall had acted together.

The movie, ‘The Bad Seed’ has all the elements of evil as the book, but I can assure you that it is tame in comparison. I have seen one of the versions, and didn't go away with a feeling of depression and dread, that I had when I finished William March’s novel. Read it. You’ll love it. I know I identify strongly with characters and incidents in literature and good films (notice the slip and slide for US and UK when I talk about movies and films) but this really grabbed me.

And yes, it is lovely to see and hear what Snakeslane has to say. She is an exceptional person and a wonderful writer, as we have both agreed, in the past.

And in case anyone is confused by that last sentence, she still is.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Gene, you may search all you will on the Internet, but you won't find crowds of prepubescent girls (or even boys) messaging each other in Tesxtspeak to say that they can't get enough of my written stuff.

I can't imagine why not.

Hey ho!


gposchman profile image

gposchman 22 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Ah but Ian, I can find you which is a far more satisfying result :) And to be honest I would rather find those who still read looking for 1930 detective stories.

Gene Poschman


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Gene, I have never, in my life, read any 1930 detective novels, although I was enjoying reading about Sherlock Holmes. I know he was from an earlier era, but a lot of my enjoyment was derived from the mise en scene being frequently in parts of London with which I am familiar.

If you can't find me, try looking for Lettice Rogers-Allbody. There are many who seek that lady, but like the Scarlet Pimpernel, whether here, there or everywhere, she appears to be elusive.


gposchman profile image

gposchman 22 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Ian, I have also enjoyed Sherlock Holmes, both in written form and in the Masterpiece televised form with Jeremy Brett as the sleuth. I also like reading about London as described in the stories though I have never been there.

You are easy enough to find, so I shall go a hunting for Lettice Rogers-Allbody, tally ho!


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Yoiks .

Sent at 1:52 as I was getting into bed for the night.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Gene, in the ‘MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES' the first 'Adventure II. The Yellow Face' has Mr Holmes travelling to Norbury. This is my present home, and it is amazing to see how little has changed over the years and yet, how much has gone. I also taught in Southwark, London SE and you would not believe the awful living conditions of some of the people there when I first came to this country. There was a particular block of "flats" known as Queen's Buildings, and one could imagine Fagin and the Artful Dodger living in the same conditions.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellieanna, whenever I comment to you, I forget this last little bit.

I love descriptions of places and eras as also, you do. When we were discussing ‘East of Eden’, I meant to tell you that the best description; the most beautiful description of a place must surely be Part 1 of Chapter One of that wonderful novel by John Steinbeck.

I have no idea how many times I have read that first introduction to a great work of literature and thought to myself (and to whom else would one think to?) that I would never be able to write anything even close to its beauty.:

Share just this little bit of sublime writing with me:

"The Salinas Valley is in Northern California. It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay.

I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer—and what trees and seasons smelled like—how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich.

I remember that the Gabilan Mountains to the east of the valley were light gay mountains full of sun and loveliness and a kind of invitation, so that you wanted to climb into their warm foothills almost as you want to climb into the lap of a beloved mother. They were beckoning mountains with a brown grass love. The Santa Lucias stood up against the sky to the west and kept the valley from the open sea, and they were dark and brooding—unfriendly and dangerous. I always found in myself a dread of west and a love of east. Where I ever got such an idea I cannot say, unless it could be that the morning came over the peaks of the Gabilans and the night drifted back from the ridges of the Santa Lucias. It may be that the birth and death of the day had some part in my feeling about the two ranges of mountains.

From both sides of the valley little streams slipped out of the hill canyons and fell into the bed of the Salinas River. In the winter of wet years the streams ran full-freshet, and they swelled the river until sometimes it raged and boiled, bank full, and then it was a destroyer. The river tore the edges of the farm lands and washed whole acres down; it toppled barns and houses into itself, to go floating and bobbing away. It trapped cows and pigs and sheep and drowned them in its muddy brown water and carried them to the sea. Then when the late spring came, the river drew in from its edges and the sand banks appeared. And in the summer the river didn’t run at all above ground. Some pools would be left in the deep swirl places under a high bank. The tules and grasses grew back, and willows straightened up with the flood debris in their upper branches. The Salinas was only a part-time river. The summer sun drove it underground. It was not a fine river at all, but it was the only one we had and so we boasted about it—how dangerous it was in a wet winter and how dry it was in a dry summer. You can boast about anything if it’s all you have. Maybe the less you have, the more you are required to boast."


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

Ian, as ever, you provide a unique perspective of subjects we both enjoy probing, though I suspect that you “know” them better than I in several senses. It expands mine to read yours.

Yes, you should be able to be driven around in that carreto as in that delightful scene with the driver making out with the village girl right under the prim vicar’s nose, and yours, as well, being engrossed as you'll be in your reading! If he goes away to prepare lunch, who knows what else he might be up to?

I was unaware that there was another version of “A Room With A View” on film. I’m trying to track it down. Did it feature Elaine Cassidy as Lucy, Laurence Fox as Cecil, Rafe Spall as George & Elizabeth McGovern as Mrs. Honeychiurch? YES - I see that is it, because Mr. Emerson’s player is listed as Timothy Spall, as you mention, I just reread! Aha. Then it’s available from Amazon.com!

I’ll have to summon my courage to consider watching “The Bad Seed”. Honestly, horror movies are not my most favored genre.

YES - YES, the descriptions of the Salinas valley by Steinbeck in the beginning chapter of ‘East of Eden” are just beautiful! Every word of it you’ve quoted grabbed me deeply as I read the opening chapter. I had thought of mentioning it to you, in fact! GMTA! (great minds think alike). And that last sentence of that description, “Maybe the less you have, the more you are required to boast.” Wow. . . But I beg to differ that you couldn’t write as beautifully, Ian! You do it all the time!

Turning to the more mundane, as an American, I use ‘movies’ in general but reserve ‘film’ for the more exceptional ones, when thinking of them in their full context. I’m OK with either, though. I was unaware that it was an American/British difference in terms. I’ve heard and used both all my adult life.

A difference in word choices between the two languages which stumps me is “scent” for the liquid pleasantry people use to enhance their own natural aromas. ’Scent’ was used in Downton Abbey when Lady Edith presented a bottle of what looked to me like a Guerlain fragrance, possibly “Mitsouko”, (one of my long-time favorites), to Lady Grantham, who objected to the price ‘for a bottle of scent”. Of course, she expressed it as only she could: “Was he wearing a mask?”

I grew up calling those products ‘perfumes’ or ‘colognes’, depending on their concentrations of essential fragrances, with cologne being the less intense form. I might refer to “one of my favorite perfumes”, not to specify that difference in intensity, but merely to point out the brand-names of fragrances I prefer, in whatever form or concentration, such as Chanel 5, Mitsouko, Fille d’Eve, or, most recently, Rose Anonyme. To me “scent’ refers to a trigger for an olfactory response when detecting any kind of aroma or to a prevailing aroma of a person, place or thing, such as in “what is that scent in this room?” (which could be either pleasant or disgusting); or “what caused that skillet to retain that scent?”; or “Martha, Is that your scent I detect?”, referring not necessarily to an added fragrance Martha might be wearing so much as her general characteristic personal melding of emissions stirring one’s olfactory sense.

I’ve recently been so hooked on “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”, which I’ve watched over and over to fully grasp its amazing subtlety, that I just had to order the novel, by John Fowler, too. Should be here tomorrow. Hope it won’t be disappointing reading after seeing the film interpretation. I love Meryl Streep, who played the lead, so that inspired me to also watch “Out of Africa” again. The DVD has a bonus feature of the full picture with running commentary by the producer/director, Sydney Pollack. Interesting to hear how they set up difficult scenes with live lions attacking the people, and how they filmed the flight in the primitive airplane over the vastness of the breathtaking Kenyan terrain, both close scenes of the open cockpit with Meryl’s hair blowing in the wind, and tracking the plane itself in its flight in the sky from close range, as well as insight into Karen Blixen’s/Isak Dinesin’s personality, life and loves. He explained that her actual writing of “Out of Africa” was rather poetic, episodic and non-explanatory, so that they had to rely on her biography by Judith Thurman, to flesh it out. When Karen had lost everything in Africa, including her lover, who died in a plane crash and her husband-of-convenience, after he’d given her a STD, and then found another rich woman when Karen’s fortune had been used up on the farm project and on supporting him, she returned for good to Denmark and it was then that she wrote her major works.

It is a beautiful film in all senses. The film’s music is breathtaking, including John Barry’s magnificent score, some Mozart and an appropriate popular song from that era. The period costumes of the early 20th century are lovely, the African natives, so authentic, the landscapes and native animals, so beautiful. The fascinating personalities of the characters are beautifully portrayed. Pollack explained that Helen Mirren was considered for the lead role and preferred by screenwriter, Kurt Luedtke. She and Meryl Streep are two of my most favorite actresses in all the world, so that would have been a good choice, but would have been vastly different. Now, Streep IS Karen Blixen to me.

Like you, I’ve kept adding to my comments (offline) so that they’re late in being posted. But I shall just copy and paste this and call it a night! Forgive the typos.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dearest Nellieanna, don’t summon your courage to watch the bad seed. Not because it’s of the horror genre, but because it isn’t true to the novel itself. William March did a wonderful job in creating a great many characters and undercurrents to the story, and the version I saw was not honest to his work. It is masterful, funny, decadent and scary in many respects; all that I love, but the film tends to be quite bland.

Just read the book, Beloved, and enjoy it as I did.

Thank you so much for your gloriously kind (!) remark in relation to the descriptions of the Salinas valley, concerning my meagre scribbling capabilities. You know how I admire your writing skills, and to hear that (or read it) made me so proud, and also, so gratefully humble. So from you, Nellieanna, that was a fabulous tribute.

Ah! Scent.

A whole hub and more could be written concerning the use of the word “scent” and “perfume” or “eau de cologne”.

You would have noticed in it being used in ‘Downton Abbey’, especially, because “scent” would have been chosen by Julian Fellows specifically to mirror the uses of the English language by that certain social set.

Do you know the expression “U and Non U”?

If you were to read nancy Mitford, and I can strongly recommend her for her delicious prose, plots and characterisation, you would become aware that in England... or should I say in Britaind and the rest of the British Empire at that time, there would have been very strict rules as to what words to be used.

It was considered U to use the word “lavatory” and Non U to use the word toilet.

Let me explain. U stands for Upper Class, whilst Non U stands for Non Upper Class - (Middle Class and Working Class)

Nancy Mitford is said to have been responsible creating an almost rigid set of rules, a code, which would immediately show, if the rules were ignored, that the person uttering such Non U words was of a “Decent” Upper Class background or not.

So Lady Edith would have dabbed a little scent on her wrists and neck and, perhaps gone to the lavatory, whilst someone from Below Stairs, or her maid would have put some perfume on her handkerchief and used the toilet.

Pretentious, middle class persons would have eaten cakes with a serviette in their laps, whereas the Dowager Countess would have used a napkin. Perhaps that grand lady would have looked in a glass to make sure her hat was at the right angle, but Mrs Hughes would have done so with the help of a mirror.

Look up U and Non U on the Internet and you will laugh. Those rules still apply in the UK with many people, but now not so much.

Let me hasten to admit that I sometimes look in the mirror, but I also try to use most of the other U words when necessary.... Cos I was brung up proper!

I saw ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ years ago, and remember it being moody, but apart from that, I have little recollection of it. At your suggestion, I will try again.

By the way, I bought Season’s 1 - 4 of ‘Downton Abbey’ although I have the first two alread... It was cheaper to do it that way than to just but the (for me) unwatched Seasons 3 and 4. Please note, I am too mean to pay exorbitant prices for DVDs and will wait until Season 5 is dirt cheap. I’ll make a not on my table napkin so that I won’t forget. I remember that I last used it when I had my pudding.

Would you believe it, Cook just asked the maid if I had liked the dessert, or did she say “sweet”... How awful! But I suppose that’s all one can expect from the Lower Orders.

Much love,

Ian


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellieanna, further to my long, boring lecture concerning U and Non-U.

I have watched a few films from across The Pond during the last couple of days, and noted with interest that the word "napkin" is readily used by your good selves, and I have also noted that the word "serviette" never drops from your collective lips.

What a relief. I feel quite bolstered up, and feel that I can now re-book my stateroom on the Transatlantic Steamer I was hoping to travel on...

I wish.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 22 months ago from Canada

Hi all (Ian and Nellianna). You are hilarious. I would say scent for the scent of rose or lavender, but a bad smell in the kitchen would be sour milk vs the aroma of something mouthwatering cooking on the stove. I love the scent of patchouli (I know, I know...) and the aroma of beef or lamb roasting in the oven. But the smell of the kitty litter box I can live without. And those scented dryer sheets are awful, but I love the smell of freshly ironed sheets (dried outside on the line). We say napkin, and/or serviette about the same. And yes, cologne or perfume depending on the potency. As you can see, I really wanted to get in on this conversation. I know I am sometimes shocked at common usage for things. (For underwear or lingerie, I would never say panties, or knickers, (maybe undies), but never underpants) lololol. And for toilet it is bathroom, or washroom. Or with friends earlier in my life simply the 'can'. When I hear anyone say friggin this or friggin that I wish they would just get to the point and leave out the friggin adjective completely. OK, enough from me on that.

The whole time you were talking about 'A Room with a View' I was thinking of 'A Room of One's Own' which is my bible. But yes, 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' and 'Out of Africa' are two of my favorite movies, although I haven't read the book by the good Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke (now there's a hyphenated mouthful!) I have read John Fowles novel, and also his auto-biographical collaborative non-fiction masterpiece 'The Tree' which is one of the most elegantly written pieces of prose I have ever read, and the photos by Frank Horvat are amazing. So put that on your must read list! And by the way Nellieanna, I think your spell checker switched John Fowles name to Fowler (mine tried to). The Steinbeck quote you chose is really lovely Ian. It reminded me of my Grandparent's place in California. Couldn't stop thinking about it. Also reminded me of that iconic Janis Joplin song 'Me and Bobby McGee' (written by Kris Kristofferson) "And somewhere near Salinas Lord, I let him slip away, searching for that home, and I hope he finds it. I'd trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday..." You know how the song goes. Thanks for indulging me. Love you guys! Mwah!


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Do you believe me, Snakeslane, when I say that references to Janis Joplin and the like, just draw a blank with me.

i have seldom listened to pop music of " meaningful" and (subsequently) iconic music, se feel that I have missed out somehow.

Of course, I loved the pop music of the fifties and sixties, but mainly because I couldn't avoid listening to it when on the beach in the summertime. I love all that stuff, but I love Opera and Classical Symphonies and Concerti much more.

I am so please, my friend to know that you are in the background when Nellieanna and I are chatting... but I am happier to know that you come out of that dark, quiet place and move into the candle-light and the glow from the fire, where we sit and chat. Your observation and friendship are appreciated, and we both love you, too.

Gotta go... We're on the way to the Cinema to watch some Bollywood.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 22 months ago from Canada

OK Ian, my buddy, you asked for it: http://youtu.be/N7hk-hI0JKw the Janis Joplin cover of Me and Bobby McGee...


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Eek!

You put UFL on a comments page. The HubPolice will be banging on your door.

I'll have a look at the Janis Joplin.

Mwah!


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Snakelane, I watched, I listened.

Hmm!

I don't think I have ever seen her before, although I knew of her death and its causes.

Frankly, if this is Country and Western, and I stand corrected if it isn't, I am not enamoured. There are sounds of "good ol' boys" in there and a feeling of the more distasteful ethos of 'Gone With The Wind''s legacy (Deliberate '').

Give me Dolly Parton singing 'You Are Always On My Mind' and I dissolve into mush, but JJ? Maybe not.

Yours,

Iconoclast Ian


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 22 months ago from Canada

Hahaha Ian, I knew you wouldn't like it. I just posted it because she was singing about Salinas. Thank you for listening though. I wasn't expecting such a visceral response. Amazing what you read into it. Here, in North America the song (and Janis) struck a chord during that flurry of peace, love, and hitting the road that we now identify as the Sixties. The lovers are on the road together, hitchhiking from one side of the country to the other. The bandanna was part of the uniform, and the mouth organ was the musical instrument of choice because it was small enough to travel with. People would play and sing wherever they met up while on their travels. It was a 'happening'. I don't get the good old boy or any kind of distasteful ethos from it. I guess it is in the Country genre though. (We play songs all the time in mckbirdbks' Hubs' comments, no police...although you could delete if it were an issue (I think?).)


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Delete anything you write, Snakeslane?

I don't think so!

I love reading your words, whether in comments or your hubs. The above, from you, encapsulated the much of the ethos of the era, and thank you for putting me to rights.

By the way, remembering that you also loved Steinbeck’s description of the salinas Valley from the first chapter of ‘East of Eden’, can I show you a small quote from a (out of copyright) story I downloaded onto my Kindle? It is from one of the many versions of ‘The thousand and One Nights’. The story is entitled: ‘The Story of Abou Hassan the Wag’ or ‘The Sleeper Awakened’. Here is the final paragraph:

“At this the caliph and the Lady Zobeide both laughed; and after they had returned to the palace, the caliph gave to Abou Hassan the thousand pieces of gold, saying to him, Receive them as a gratuity on account of thy safety from death. In like manner, also, the Lady Zobeide gave to Nouzatalfuad a thousand pieces of gold, saying to her the same words. Then the caliph allotted to Abou Hassan an ample salary and ample supplies, and he ceased not to live with his wife in joy and happiness, until they were visited by the terminator of delights and the separator of companions, the devastator of palaces and houses, and the replenisher of the graves.”


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 22 months ago from Canada

So they lived happily ever after...until that fateful visit. They were truly blessed.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I really think that is one of the most stunning quotes or descriptions of that inevitable visitor that I have read for many years.

I'm glad you liked it, Snakeslane.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 22 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Dear Ian

I have read your article and some of the comments

but I felt like a perpetrator

on the wrong side of the fence

I am guilty of creative punctuation

My punctuation is creative to the point of being entirely pointless

Im afraid no language is safe with me

I hope not to be killed for saying this

Spare me the fate of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

I always suspected that his demise was due to the improper punctuation

All that hyphenation business points out to a conspiracy

Don't tell anyone its strictly confidential

Between me and the world

Im very glad you're writing again

Im writing too the peace that doesn't want to happen

Somehow it is not sharp enough

It lacks either focus or talent or both

I hope you're having a good time interacting with your readers

Back in the day when I didn't think I was a writer

I thought it was the best part

now when I became an arrogant author with no recent work to my name

I actually enjoy writing even without having feedback

or was it forcefeedback

Anyway

missing a word here due to the obsessivecompulsive memory loss

I think you also might enjoy these videoclips

The first one is so far my favourite

and Im gladly admit to watching only three and a half of them

http://www.ted.com/playlists/228/how_language_chan...

I actually watched a film that reminded me of that place

I was never been to

Twilight Lawns

and you of course

its called quartet

its lovely

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxJzsH5bFWI

I hope you have a pleasant time of the day that you are having

PS

Im sorry about falling off the face of the planet

I had a very very very very rough time

I only came back to live two weeks ago

Not that I don't feel terrible about my disappearances

The only good questionably good thing may come out of it

I decided to come back to writing and dancing

At least for a while to see if that would make a difference

Lots of love and hugs


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

This following post is going to be totally out of sequence. I wrote it exactly two weeks ago, on Jan. 24. 2015, but didn't post it then, pending some editing. It's referring to past subjects in the thread. Now I'm afraid to read it to edit it, since needing to do that was what delayed it in the first place! So I'll just post it and you may feel free to do with it as you wish. By the way, I just watched "Age of Innocence" for the umpteenth time. It moves rather slowly, but that sort of suits my speed tonight. haha. OK - here goes - in another comment box because it wouldn't post in this one, being 60 words over limit. aieeeee. See next comment box.

_______________________________


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

I love it! You have well explained the difference between the "U" and "Non-U" word choices! It's amusing to me that the "U" ones tend to be the less-affected choices, in many cases. I've always noticed thatin such society as I've been exposed to, even here. When, just out of college, I worked in the most elegant store in Houston, first on the 'third floor' (i.e.: expensive, elegant, designer) department, one of the guarded secrets was the inventory of a few of the very plain little shirtwaist gingham cotton dresses with Peter-pan white collars designed for and shown only to the young ladies of the 'best' families, though all the other clothes were much more elaborate and were sought out by the 'girlfriends' of the sons of the King Ranch, for example, social climbers (or kept-women), etc. Those little cotton dresses were accessorized with plain little espradillles & a modest string of pearls, at most. A sorority sister of mine was one of my first customers. Her mother had been the commanding officer of the Women’s Army Corps in WWII and then became the 1st Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under President Dwight Eisenhower. My friend’s da had been a Texas Governor & owned the major Houston newspaper. She came in to purchase one of those dresses. (Hope I recall the designer’s name shortly. Even it was ‘low key’!) I was spotted by the head Bridal Consultant soon after starting to work there, from the even more elegant Bridal Department within the third floor, along with sub-departments for furs & really ‘high’ fashion, and I became a Bridal Consultant in that department. until the horrid accident which took the lives of my sister and her family and re-directed my life, non too advantageously.

Perhaps you are aware that these New World "colonies" have had and surely still have their own 'U" an NonU"-type codes, especially the ones along its East Coast, and its northern regions. The further west one looks, the less real of this inherited aristocracy abides, though each region has their own adaptation of it. The original colonies, however, were the creators of it, and I suppose some of them brought it with them from Europe.

I’ve read a book on ‘The American Aristocracy’ which was rather eye-opening. The ‘real-thing’ is virtually non-public. Their inter-associations are as clandestine and their inter-communications as eclectic as I imagine the secret interaction of the Masons must be. That societal stratosphere makes it a point to reveal itself almost exclusively to its other members, and there are ‘clues’ known only to the insiders to alert each other to whom they belong. They do not make a ‘show’ of it. My Dad, who was a Scottish Rite Mason (mother was in Eastern Star, I was a Rainbow girl at one time) was reared a Mennonite, a sect which is religiously opposed to making a ‘show’ and he never ever did so in his whole life.Though it was not based on a sense of social aristocracy at all, in a way, it set him apart, especially in the brash West Texas world. He was given nicknames such as “deacon’” although he’d severed his religious ties. His bearing and his natural sense of a kind of elegance, set him apart. Mother’s ‘British Isles” ancestry had it’s ancient ties to aristocracy, but was surely middle-class. She did possess a kind of aristocratic look & bearing, but she favored bright flamboyant colors which were anathema in the Mennonite set (she wasn’t one). Wherever she was, she was equally at home with every strata of society available, from the leaders to the ‘across tracks’ folks. She simply ignored those things and was accepted by all, in spite of her social class blindness.

American Author Edith Wharton wrote much about that tight, wealthy, upper class New York society around the turn of the 20th century. I believe she was 'one of them'. I'm familiar with the film adaptation of her "Age of Innocence" and have that novel and a couple of her other novels on my 2015 reading list. There’s something sort of fascinating about people living their entire lives in thrall to invisible codes which actually mean so little and crowd out so much worth living. The hero of “Age of Innocence” (played so well by Daniel Day Lewis) loves one of their set (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) who had married a European nobleman and returned for an extended visit to New York, after she’d long-since lost her adherence to their stiff ways. She’s viewed askance by the local societal rulers, despite her family connection to the ‘dowager queen’ of society. She’s remembered mostly as always having been a bit of a rebel and would be snubbed, had not some of the high-ranking people put their stamp of approval on her, at least temporarily. Our hero is engaged to a young cousin of the countess (played by Wynona Ryder), whose whole concept of life is totally and unconsciously controlled and filled by those strict manners & rules of conduct. After succumbing to some hot moments with the countess whom he’d loved since youth, he marries her countess-cousin, always to have to bow to her subtle expectations for him to behave as dictated by the rules. His young wife accepts the countess as a kinswoman without conditions, and it is through that which she’s often at advantage with him.

The film has many great moments ‘both ways’ and in the end, one of his many children, his grown son who has become an architect, insists he accompany him to Europe for a business trip and then, tries to get his Dad to accompany him to meet and visit the countess, where she lives in Paris. The son lets his father in on the fact that his mother knew that he could trust his dad always because “once he gave up what he most wanted for me,” though the father had no idea his wife ever had a clue about his love of the countess, her cousin. The whole movie is intermittently voice-over-narrated by Joanne Woodward, with her voice which so fits the times and situations being enacted. It’s not a fast-paced movie in the least, but one which requires a degree of insight and wistful well-wishing for its characters.

By the way, I’ve ordered the book, “Out of Africa” by Karen Blixen, aka: Isak Dinesen. I’ve been drawn in to reports of her unique way with words, even above the story itself. It’s supposed to deliver tomorrow. “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” should be here anytime in the next 2 or 3 hours. I wish I could read everything at once, but I wouldn’t like it if I could. I find that my memory of films I’ve seen and books I’ve read are nearly like a very available private ‘library’ in my head. Anticipating is another kind of actual ownership. But nothing compares to reading the words on the pages or seeing the action on the screen.

In the series “Elizabeth I”, I remember the Queen referring to the ‘glass’ when she ordered all of them removed from the pa;ace so she wouldn’t have to see herself aging.

I’ll be getting Season 5 DVDs of Downton Abbey in a few days. I preordered way back last fall so I’d get mine as soon as they’re released in this country. Yeah, I’m an addict. I’ve seen a little of this season on “Masterpiece Theater” TV and have to say it’s a little too ‘dark’ looking to suit me, and it’s beginning to seem a little desperate to keep the story fresh without Matthew. I’m sort of fond of the newer characters, but it begins to seem a little ‘thin’. I invested in the 5-season DVDs of the 1973 TV series, “Upstairs, Downstairs” and had to admire their decision to leave the series while people were still hungry for it after that 5th season. It had also lost key characters along the line and brought in a few new ones, but they recognized that the very historic elements they’d included in the story presented a kind of built-in limit to its longevity. It would really stretch credulity to have the characters not age and would be both a filming challenge and unpleasant if they did.

Which is U and which is Non U, dessert or sweet? I think context suggests that dessert - no, sweet - is U. Oh, I don’t know. I call prepared sweet offerings, eaten after a meal, “desserts’. “Sweets’” are the whole category of sugary edibles, eaten at a


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

That was all muddled. I will try to delete it once it's cleared & posted. It was still too long, and I'd cut out some of the ex traneous parts, but it posted above uncut, and so, frazzled. Remind me to not try that approach again!

Also, I realize how many of your wonderful comments and the flow of conversation I missed there for a bit. I may never catch up on my replies to them, but I'm relishing reading them!


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Svetlana, my old (!) one-third of the Three Musketeers, I laughed like a long line of schoolgirls when I read “Spare me the fate of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria I always suspected that his demise was due to the improper punctuation”.

I had never realised that Gavrilo Princip was a grammarian, and the old Archduke deserved everything that was coming (or had come) to him.

Actually, I laughed out loud, but as you well know, I have never been guilty of writing LOL. I watched the video concerning TEXT writing, and I have to admit I could see sense in what the guy was saying. Very interesting and thought provoking.

I have seen ‘Quartet’ at the cinema and loved it. Maggie Smith is one of my favourite actresses. And I agree that the scenario is so much like Twilight Lawns. I got there first, however.

Lovely to see you again, my friend.

Ian


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellieanna , to let you know that I am not lazy or that I haven't forgotten how to write.

I have had a pretty boring and unsuccessful day. There has only been one really positive thing that I have done.

I found 'The Age of Innocence' on the Internet it and as it is out of copyright


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Continued ... Have downloaded it and formatted it and sent it to my Kindle.

I HATE WRITING E-MAILS ON MY SMART PHONE!!!


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

I'm here. Nice to see that all the Musketeers are up and about! I've had a big day and it's way past bedtime, so I'm resisting getting into a bunch.

I've not yet read the novel itself, "Age of Innocence", but glad you've found it online. I have it in hard copy ready to read. The narration by Joanne Woodward in the film is quoting the actual book. It's not constant in the film, but very much 'there'.

I write texts on my iPhone, but don't like emailing on it, either.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I spoke to Judi, yesterday and asked her whether she had read 'The Age of Innocence' and had a very negative response. Judi, who has read so very much... erm... extensively, was rather dismissive of Edith Wharton's style, so I don't know if I will enjoy it. I shall have to ask Marina, my chum from at least forty-three years back. She is nothing less than my intellectual mentor. I don't think I have ever read a book that she has not recommended... or a film that she has not dragged me along to. Or perhaps Hanifa my author friend may be able to help.

Note well, my dearest and most respected friends are, mostly exclusively, all women.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I spoke to Judi, yesterday and asked her whether she had read 'The Age of Innocence' and had a very negative response. Judi, who has read so very much... erm... extensively, was rather dismissive of Edith Wharton's style, so I don't know if I will enjoy it. I shall have to ask Marina, my chum from at least forty-three years back. She is nothing less than my intellectual mentor. I don't think I have ever read a book that she has not recommended... or a film that she has not dragged me along to. Or perhaps Hanifa my author friend may be able to help.

Note well, my dearest and most respected friends are, mostly exclusively, all women.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Hub pages has gone crazy. the above comment, from me, has been duplicated four times... I have deleted three but one more has appeared.


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

Not to worry. We're all in it together! As for "The Age of Innocence", of course, you must read it if you are inclined to. If not, it's no catastrophe. The action is rather 'slow' and the messages are rather 'fine-tuned'. So I'm not surprised that it is not everyone's cup of tea. I've only seen the movie, have yet to read the novel, or any of Wharton's novels. Her style may be that slower moving action and rather subtle underlying meanings, which I don't mind if they're well done. They were in the movie, certainly, which has an outstanding cast: Daniel Day Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Wynona Ryder, Alexis Smith, Geraldine Chaplin, and many others. It's directed by Martin Scorsese, so it's top-notch. The settings are lovely, too, plus depicting New York at the mid-1800s.

The era interests me greatly, especially from the perspective of a totally different part of this big land, which I've only seen once in my life.

I read "Dragonwyk" by Anya Seton when I was a teenager. It's set in that general area and mid-19th century era, except that it featured a wealthy country landowner rather than New York socialites. They were all of the same cloth, though, I suppose, and many were of Dutch descent.

"Dragonwyk" was among my favorite stories back then in my youth, partly because the heroine of the story was a pretty, innocent 18-year-old country girl with whom I identified. She falls under the spell of this dark mansion called Dragonwyk, and its cruel master, Nicholas Van Ryn, with the eager innocence of my own time of life.

I intend to read it again and see if I still find it fascinating. It is a dark gothic story. In the movie, which I saw after I'd read the book several times, Vincent Price plays the wicked Nicholas Van Ryn. He was perfect for the role.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I can remember hearing a radio play when I was in Australia. I was in my very early teens. It was called 'Dragonwyk'.

More tomorrow when i get to my pc.

Love

Ian


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

WOW!


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I remember thinking that the storyline was a little "over the top", but you must remember that I was very young. My mother explained to me that the style of story and the mise en scene was what one called "Gothic". My goodness, she was a wonderful person to have around for a young boy who would eventually try to understand styles and forms of writing.

My schoolmasters, on the other hand, were an absolute waste of space. That is, until I went back to college when I was coming up to twenty. We had an English lecturer who was absolutely brilliant at getting his point across and opening our minds. My friend, Hanifa Deen, who also attended the same place of education: Leederville Technical College in West Australia also agrees that he was wonderful.

Have you ever looked up Hanifa? Just whack her name into any search engine, and you will discover what an amazingly talented and caring person she is; whether concerning Women’s Issues, Islamic Issues, or anything else worthwhile.


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

How interesting. So you brushed up with "Dragonwyk" when young, too! I didn't know it was Gothic style (by its proper name) at the time. I just felt it in my bones. Later I learned that is what that style is called. I guess my first exposure to it was Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" and that wicked Queen with the poisoned apple. I cringed and could hardly look. Did you ever stop to think how Gothic a lot of fairy tales are? There are some really wicked, dark stuff going on in them! haha.

I have not (yet) looked up Hanifa Deen. Perhaps I shall, since she's someone you admire.


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

OK. This definitely caught my my attention. I already like her:

". . . HANIFA DEEN is an award-winning Australian author who writes narrative nonfiction and lives in Melbourne. She now works full-time as a writer, which she sees as the perfect medium for a woman with an irreverent tongue, a maverick Muslim perspective on life, and a passion to subvert stereotypes wherever they lurk . . ."


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellieanna, I always thought that fairy Tales were a bit frightening. Did you know that, as part of the “cleaning up of the German Psyche” at the end of World War II, it became illegal in that country to publish (and even to read, I have heard, although I don’t believe that angle) the stories of the Brothers Grimm. There was a theory that the ethos of those tales contributed, in part, to the extremes of the Nazi ideology and that the German (Prussian) public had been hardened towards what we, even now, think of as brutal, cruel and unacceptable.

Cinderella’s sisters, in the original, took sharp knives and pared away, or even hacked away, their own toes and heels so that they could fit into the “glass” slipper. It was the blood that drew the attention of the Prince and his chums, and as a punishment, the sisters were required to wear specially constructed iron shoes which has been set in the furnace until they were red hot. Then they were beaten and made to dance in those iron shoes till they died of exhaustion and the pain of their burning feet.

Now that’s Gothic enough for me.

Walt Disney? I would like my whole life to be Walt Disney’s creation. Mr Happy Ending, Mr Everything’s Going to be All Right in the Final Scene.

So how come I love opera in which, almost always, the lovers die in the final scene or she does and he is taken out to be shot or something awful?

How come?

Well, me, being me, I feel that this version of Lat Traviata or whatever I am presently watching, is the version in which Violetta gets better in the end AND THEY ALL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER... there isn’t such a version, but I’m hoping one will come along some day.

I’m glad you looked up Hanifa, She really is amazing.


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

Dear Following and other interested parties.

Where do I begin? I did not go to a Grammar School or have specialist training as may been suggested. brb.......pill is kicking in.


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

When did you first discover, as Noel Coward once put it, you had a talent to amuse?


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I hope you voted. I'll be checking you know. We have our own ways and means.

Yours most sincerely,

(sincerity being my middle name)

Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Or as Cissie knows me, Maude Sincerity Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh D.C.B.E.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

The poor dear never understood the difference between Dame Knight Commander of the British Empire or the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. The poor dear would just as likely write Dame Commander of Fortnum and Mason's.


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

I'm smiling about the conversation with steve of ian fame. You're way over my head, but it makes me smile, anyway.

I didn't know all that about the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales except from snatches I've heard or picked up along the way, added to my own discomfort about them. Nursery Rhymes are just as bad. "Ring Around The Rosie" is supposed to be about the Pox or maybe it was the Great Plague, with nasty sores all over people everywhere in the cities. The "pocket full of posies", I believe, were supposed to have offered some healing power over the sores. Shudder!

One would get the impression that our species is violent and torturing each other when that choice is available, and otherwise, given to horrible diseases caused by the way humans have chosen to live, crowded together so that all the germs and viruses will be sure to run rampant through the populaces. Shudder!

No wonder Heaven has always held such appeal, although I'm not sure where we'd get the idea that, since we've polluted and ravaged this planet, that any other heavenly body would be safe from our avarice, oblivion, and disregard for anything and anyone other than ourselves, and not too much regard for ourselves, when one gets right down to looking at the facts and actual practices and results!

I think I've had too much setting up of that Windows 8.1 computer I've acquired. It's designed to defy common sense and to go for glitz. This Mac is like a breath of fresh air!

Happy Valentine's Day coming up tomorrow! I've searched out some of my most loving, romantic hubs to feature on my first page.


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

. . . thinking about opera themes. . . . yes, they do tend to be on the tragic side. Perhaps, though, having the sad words sung beautifully with lovely orchestral accompaniment softens the tragedies, think?

Same for Disney.

I'll never forget that poor mouse in Disney's "Fantasia", lugging the buckets of water down those long circular stairs into the bowels of that castle or prison or whatever it was. . . and then trudging back up for more water unremittingly, for no reason except that he'd been commanded to do it, like moving rocks from one pile to another. Then the lower level of that gothic edifice flooded with all the water, nearly drowning him, while the orchestra crescendoed with gorgeous music. I hardly remember anything else about the movie, though I know there were much more beautiful scenes and the classical music was a real gift to a generation of youngsters in this country, an exposure that many surely would never have received otherwise.

I was very young. That poor mouse and those water buckets up and down that stairway stuck in my mind as what not to do.

It's served as an example of the results of doing futile work 'just because', without examining the sense of it, ever since in my my life! haha.


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

The Parable of the Talents. The story finishes,..."and so it is to him that has shall even more be given and to him that has little even that which little he has shall be taken from him." Mrs Thatcher fulfilled the capitalist philosophy in biblical proportions. She reversed The Catechism too. Too many people are being reassured by the texts of primitive tribes people. I think it makes it easier to sway the masses.


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

Opera? Is that where the fat lady sings herself to death?


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

You may be “Smiling about the conversation with steve of ian fame”. But worry not, Nellieanna, it would not be way over your head if you realised that ‘steve of ian fame’ has an alter ego which might be more familiar to you if I were to use the alternative: Mr Jack Lincoln-Palmistry.

I was completely ready to allow the poor chap to remain incognito, but for some reason, he chose to break cover. The only analogy I can furnish here is that of the hunted fox that has sought cover when pursued by gangs of Pink coated upper class Louts on horses and packs of somewhat unruly hounds that have been chasing him across the verdant fields or frosted winter ploughed furrows of the more bucolic counties of this little section of Europe.

Dear Reynard (Ah! Another alter ego for s o I f) may have lain low until the Hunt had passed him by, but NO! He broke cover and dragged his mud splattered tail straight into the mouth of the beast. The beast in this instance being Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh. But on his own russet head, I say, be it. Not one Hubber would have put fact before fiction unless he had done so.

So, Mr Jack Lincoln-Palmistry, Poet Laureate (Retired) the truth, as they say, is out. You have been outed Sir, but not by a friendly hand, as is my own, but you have been “hoisted by your own petard”, as they say. (I like the “as they say” motif here)

Long, Jumbled Jack, may you cast ashes on your own brow and wear sackcloth, ‘tis by your own admission that you now stand in the full glare of public scrutiny.

Nellieanna, you say “One would get the impression that our species is violent and torturing each other when that choice is available, and otherwise, given to horrible diseases caused by the way humans have chosen to live, crowded together so that all the germs and viruses will be sure to run rampant through the populaces.”

Oh, yes, I agree. But when man tries to upset the natural order of things, then things can go tragically wrong.

Referring to the “Great Plague, with nasty sores all over people everywhere in the cities. The "pocket full of posies", If Man had known just a little more’ at the time, then the Black Death which engulfed most of Europe, as well as the British Isles, could have been averted somewhat.

Apparently, the Black Death, the Great Plague killed 50 million people in the 14th century, or 60 per cent of Europe's entire population.

Unfortunately, in Britain, in London, one of the first things that the population did to try to avert the catastrophe, was to kill all the dogs and cats, believing that the Plague emanated from those animals. Of course, dogs and cats have always been efficacious in keeping down rodent populations. So with those helpful animals removed form the scene, the rats, being given free reign, multiplied exponentially and... well we know what happened.

As Robert Browning said, in The Pied Piper of Hamelin’, and I am sure he must have based the poem, somewhat whimsically, on the Great Plague:

Rats!

They fought the dogs and killed the cats,

And bit the babies in the cradles,

And ate the cheeses out of the vats,

And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,

Split open the kegs of salted sprats,

Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,

And even spoiled the women's chats

Incidentally, it is believed that urban foxes in the cities of the UK are responsible for the extermination of many rats. Perhaps Mr Lincoln-Palmistry may still have his uses. After all, he may have broken cover in the Fields and copses of our Merrie England, but he can have an enormous impact on the less desirable populations of our great conurbations.

Hmm! Bears some thought.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you steve of ian fame for pointing out that Margaret Thatcher, (Baroness Thatcher, to you) was, possibly, the greatest post war Prime Ministers this country has been lucky enough to have.

I know that you are mounting some sort of a vendetta against the poor lady, but I wonder why it should be that she, and her government, were in power for eleven years. We have a democracy in the UK, unless you were unaware of that, and she was elected because the British public wanted to have her in that position.

Talking to you is like trying to have a conversation with Ken Livingstone. Livingstone Without the Newts, might be a good label.

I can’t remember him discussing anything for any length of time without him mentioning her name in the most derogatory manner. But with him, it is spite because she got rid of his monumental waste and inefficiency of County Hall. And with you? I don’t think you have suffered one jot from Thatcherism or any other ism in this country. Your lifestyle, Sir, seems to be quite comfortable.

And please, if you must bring Biblical quotes into the conversation, make them relevant and at least decipherable. I shudder that I initiated the thread.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dear steve of ian fame

“Opera? Is that where the fat lady sings herself to death?”

Misquote, Sir.

The original quote is; “It’s not finished until the fat lady sings”

Without being too cruel, I have to say that this is yet another example of incorrect or flawed etymological research methods on your behalf, and/or just another example of you not having paid enough attention when others are/were speaking.


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

You appear sir not to be as informed as you think. I refer to Ken Dod's quote and none other.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

So you're quoting a mosquito.

OK.


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Nellieanna 22 months ago from TEXAS

Ian, you are brilliant! Happy Valentine's Day! Lots of hugs and praises! Love -- Nellieanna


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellieanna, happy Saint Valentine's Day to you too, dear friend.

x x x


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

No the wit of Ken Dodd


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Correction, steve of ian fame.

What I had aimed to say was, “You are quoting a misquote!”

Unfortunately, predictive text, as usual, let me down when using my Smartphone to try to answer a question (or to reply to a comment) on HubPages.

HubPages, when trying to use a Smartphone, is possibly the worst experience I know of; second only to trying to decipher your jumbled spelling, mixed metaphors and punctuation errors.

But as Mrs Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh was recently heard to say (although in strictest confidence), “What more can one expect from that sort of person?”

And frankly, I find it difficult to imagine how, when or where, one could possibly use the word "wit" in the same sentence as the name of the Ken Dodd person.


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

Oh well. Have it your own way. Let's face it you usually do. I have never won an argument with you in over twenty years and don't expect things to change now. No matter how I try to sit you down and tell you anything your foibles prevail.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Oh well. Have it your own way. Let's face it you usually do. I have never won an argument with you in over twenty years and don't expect things to change now. No matter how I try to sit you down and tell you anything your foibles prevail.

May I offer just a helpful little hint? If you had punctuated the above, it would have been a little easier to understand.

Please read the following, and see how much better it flows.

Oh well. Have it your own way. Let's face it, you usually do. I have never won an argument with you in over twenty years and don't expect things to change now. No matter how I try to sit you down and tell you anything, your foibles prevail.

Just two simple commas and it is so much easier to read and to understand. Don’t you agree?

Yours sincerely,

Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

Well I have always been something of a masochist. Constant engagement with yourself, ensures the usual literary whip is cracked. I wish you would put down the mantle of respectability or throw it away altogether. Then retire to the lounge, as a noun, go to the toilet with your copy of Nancy Mitford and pierce it with holes for string. I am sure you can think of a 1930s better use for it.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I can't imagine what you mean by that, Mr Lincoln-Palmistry, but I have to admit that it made me laugh.

By the way, there isn't any need for the comma between "yourself" and “ensures". The sentence works well without one. Perhaps it is the comma which should have followed the "Well" at the beginning of your amusing little piece.

These commas, as you may have observed, can wander.

Can you remember the helpful little hint that I offered earlier? Let me recapitulate:

“Commas tend to come in pairs; like nuns.” So, if one were to find one wandering around by itself, one would assume that it could be unnecessary, or that its partner should be in that sentence somewhere, to keep it company.

Of course this is not a hard and fast rule as in brackets, which always come in pairs. There is always the Oxford Comma, which tends to live a more adventurous, if lonely, life. Oxford Commas live a more solitary existence.

Your obedient servant,

Maude Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

You did not pick up on my bait. Damn! With words like toilet and lounge I thought I was guaranteed a more considered response. I throw my hands into the air and leave the room defeated. No matter how shallow I manage to stoop, you can normally stoop one shallower. Is there an American equivalent to Nancy Mitford or are such things considered inconsequential? Let us not get started on Lynn Truss.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dear Mr Lincoln-Palmistry (or your alter ego),

The whole point of this hub was not to discuss the merits or demerits of Nancy Mitford, U or Non U. The hub dealt with the English language and whether those of us who use it can communicate easily with it, or whether it is only possible in spoken language.

I still maintain that, unless one uses the correct punctuation, one is in danger of being mislead, or of misleading.

It is easy to convey what one has to say when using spoken language, whether on the telephone or face to face, because it is possible to stress words and pauses to convey a meaning, but unless the punctuation is correct, mistakes in understanding may occur in written English.

For example, and I really thank you for providing this: “I throw my hands into the air and leave the room defeated.”

Did you mean that when you had left the room, you had left it in a state of defeat?

Then you conveyed to me that that is what had occurred.

However, if you meant that you had left the room, having been defeated, then your sentence did not say that at all.

You should have written: “I throw my hands into the air and leave the room; defeated.”

This is somewhat inelegant, as semicolons may “join” interdependent sentences, and “defeated” implies “I was (or had been) defeated)

Or, alternatively: “I throw my hands into the air and leave the room, defeated.”

If you had bothered to read Nellieanna’s comments thoroughly, you would have realised that Americans use our shared language somewhat differently, and that there are words which we may say are U or Non U, but the whole ethos of the U Non U debate doesn’t hinge on the American use of (for example): toilet or lavatory, lounge, settee or sofa.

Americans actually use an older form of the English language than we, because, apart from adding and incorporation newer, scientific, biological and technical terms, et cetera, the structure of American English follows a more rigid, and older format, than that adhered to on this side of The Pond.

In my limited experience, I have noted, since using HubPages, that the American individuals I have read and enjoyed, have understood, and used the language far better than many of us in the UK. There are some exceptions on either side of the Atlantic (a large body of water between the USA and the UK which somewhat prevents one from walking or driving one’s car from one to the other. Perhaps you have heard of it).

I have read deplorable examples of poor spelling, incorrect homophones and punctuation errors from either side, but I have also been aware that there are many from the North Americas who write and understand the English language extraordinarily well. And (Please excuse my using a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence) of course, I must say the same about many of our British writers.

Your final comment: “Let us not get started on Lynn Truss,” indicates to me that you really haven’t understood what all the above it about.

If you had even started to get into Lynne Truss, Sir, you would understand, and use, the language a little more correctly.


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

I'm afraid I don't see your point despite a few readings. You must petition Oxford and get my O'level English rescinded. It was clearly meant for the student next to me whose work I copied from over his shoulder, when for a moment he wasn't looking.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I'm sure yo's on to better things.

Maybe he went on to be the Minister for Education. You did say his name was Michael Gove, didn't you?

Poor chap, now that little harpy, Nicky Morgan has usurped his seat.


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

Value systems. (Heading only intended).

If I were Sharon, the servant girl at Twilight Lawns and were left a note scrawled upon a serviette, sorry a paper napkin, and it read many thanks for your help. Would you be good enough to clear the table afterwards for an early tea please? She would appreciate my politeness. If Ian wrote, "Hurry up girl and get these things cleared!" Provided it was punctuated correctly, it would pass beyond question.

Now, I'm sure there is many a peep following this thread who would like to say something, but, comma phobia has probably now spread the entire internet and gone viral. Nobody can clear a room of people quicker than Ian on a crusade.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

PAPER napkins???

Horrors!


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Don't you mean Double Damask Dinner Napkins?


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

I'm afraid I have never heard of Double Damask Dinner Napkins. Do they sit like large oysters, correctly folded upon a shiny table, beside those place mats not too far from all the cutlery?


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Place mats? And what about the

flatware?


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

Now you have lost me I'm afraid. I'm down to educated guesses.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

As long as you are lost, go and see if you can get lost in the next section... the following section as well.


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

Now I am sure as one can be of anything that your bigoted value system has scared off everyone. Friendship is limited to the film of the book. "He knew he was right." I do not recommend it for shallow reasons like, the costumes, the looks and the period of the drama. I recommend the video on the strength of deep illustration of bullies. I will send you a copy from Amazon and no longer will you be sat down by myself and told anything. If you continue to strive for success and exert your influence over all of us. On your own head be it.


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steve of ian fame 22 months ago from Essex

Oherr... That didn't quite come out right did it?

Sorry Ian, it made a kind of sense in my head at the time but these new tranquillizers prescribed by my doctor are sending me more like Celia in The Princess May of Teck wing daily. Is there any chance a room in the Victoria and Albert wing might be found for a while. Dear Maude is already boosting a home made remedy.


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Twilight Lawns 22 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dear Jumbled Jack,

Thank you for clarifying your penultimate comment. Or the comment which appears to emanate from you.

We were beginning to think that the rumours concerning Mrs Wicket being seen in and around your room were correct. May we point out that, when you approached us requiring you most recent Respite Care in the Lord Kitchener Wing, it was made quite clear to you that individuals of a female persuasion were not to be admitted to any part of the Lord Kitchener Wing at any time. Mrs Celia Wicket, may we hasten to inform you, is not only a Person of a Female Persuasion, but is also a Domestic, employed by Twilight Lawns plc on an hourly basis.

Our Dear Raj, the Head Gardener-in-Waiting at Twilight Lawns, reported seeing the Wicket Person entering your room. He believes that, whilst there, she availed herself of your typewriting machine or whatever it is that you use to write these messages to us. Obviously you had permitted the dreadful person to send the comment which has been attributed to you under your alter ego “steve of ian fame”.

Her ramblings were even more bizarre than your own, and so we realised very quickly that she had been responsible. She, or some other equally poorly educated lower class person.

Please, Mr Lincoln-Palmistry, desist at once, from entertaining in your room while you are here; whether in temporary residence or not.

Yours sincerely,

Charge Nurse Hildegard Smythe


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 16 months ago from New York

What fun to read! Poor Mr. Lincoln-Palmistry, he does have his hands full! The comma is certainly the most elusive little object, always appearing in the wrong place at the wrong time!

I love Twilight Lawns and reading your thoroughly creative writing.

Voted up, funny, and interesting.


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Twilight Lawns 16 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

tillsontitan, thank you so much for your comment.

Regardless of your name, you are certainly a Giant of HubPages, and I am honoured to receive your call.

I have to admit, however, that poor Mr Lincoln-Palmistry has yet to learn the rudiments of punctuation, and despite my constant and kindly encouragement, he still flounders in a plethora of possessive apostrophes, commas, inverted commas and “those little tadpole thingies flying over words” as he affectionately calls them.

Poor dear soul, his heart is in the right place, but unfortunately, his brain appears to have gone AWOL.

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