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I am sorry, but I don't begrudge our ex-presidents their pension.


I didn't say, or mean to imply, that I begrudged Clinton either his pension or his speaking earnings. I simply stated what they are.

I think I can speak for most of my compatriots when I say that we think that Clinton was a far better President than is "Dubyar". And as for his sexual indiscretions, I personally am baffled as to why anyone apart from the Clintons and Monica, should be the slightest bit concerned. The affair did not, after all, affect his work.


Richard English
 
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Richard, I fully agree with you regarding your comments about Clinton. However, I don't understand where you got "Dubyar." We Americans who speak American English would never place an "r" at the end. For us, it's "Dubya" for his middle initial "W." As I wrote ages ago in this forum, when Paul McCartney sang "I never SAWR it at all, 'til there was you..." we Americans thought "WHAT did he say???" For us, it was "I never SAW it at all" and we wondered where that final "r" came from. Since then it has been discussed, so I was interested to see that you placed an "r" where I had never seen one before.
 
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And as for his sexual indiscretions, I personally am baffled as to why anyone apart from the Clintons and Monica, should be the slightest bit concerned. The affair did not, after all, affect his work.

It's sort of like Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.
 
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I don't see the connection between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson on the one hand and President Clinton on the other hand. Clinton was, after all, married and in office.
However, I agree fully with Richard English regarding Clinton and the scandal. Why would the American public be interested in knowing what he did (and, because of the perverse inquisition led by Kenneth Starr) and even what he did in detail? Isn't it only the involved parties who are involved, actually? I think the American public's fascination with stains provided quite a stain on the public themselves. As it is popular to say in the USA, why doesn't the American public "get a life?" Vicarious thrills say quite a bit about the lack of thrills in the viewer's own life.
 
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Originally posted by markmywords48:
I don't see the connection between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson on the one hand and President Clinton on the other hand. Clinton was, after all, married and in office.

I don't think the similiarity lies in the details of the scandals, but in the domestic reaction and the bafflement of foreigners. I think a lot of Americans were baffled by the big deal made of Wallis Simpson. She was divorced -- so was Henry VIII. So what if she's American -- the royal family is German. Yet the British found his behavior shocking enough -- even without DNA evidence -- to kick him out of office.
 
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Unless I remember my history wrong, Edward wasn't "kicked out of office" but gave up his right to the crown of his own free will, making his choice between the crown and Mrs. Simpson.
 
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Originally posted by Richard English: sexual indiscretions, I personally am baffled as to why anyone apart from the Clintons and Monica, should be the slightest bit concerned. The affair did not, after all, affect his work.
Baffled you may be, but surely you recognize that Americans aren't the only ones who take an interest in the personal indiscretions of their own public figures. It's a fairly common interest in the UK, from what I've read about -- oh, let's just say Charles-and-Camilla, and David Beckham. No doubt you could name more examples.
 
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Originally posted by Richard English: Clinton, his pension or his speaking earnings. I simply stated what they are.
If you gave the pension figure, I didn't see it.

The annual pension for a former President is currently $175,700 (taxable). The former president is also entitled office staff and space, phone, etc., and that can be rather substantial. (PDF file here.) Clinton, being one of the youngest former presidents we've ever had, is of course likely to receive pension for an unusually long period, so I suppose in that sense he's particularly expensive; but I hardly fault him for it.
 
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It's sort of like Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.


Of course, it was the British Government that insisted, not the British public. The reason was that then, as now the Monarch is not allowed to take a divorcee as his queen. This is primarily to do with the Church's restrictions on such relationships. Our Monarch is, after all, the head of the Church of England.

Many people feel that Edward would have made a better King than George, who didn't want the job and was never at ease in it - although he surely did a valiant job in the face of massive difficulties, both personal and political - of which the little spat with Adolph was just one.


Richard English
 
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If you gave the pension figure, I didn't see it.

I didn't. It was someone else who gave the likely lifetime figure that Clinton would receive from the US taxpayer. I merely said that I took no sides although I did, orginally, contrast it with the amount that our Monarch receives from the Civil List.


Richard English
 
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Baffled you may be, but surely you recognize that Americans aren't the only ones who take an interest in the personal indiscretions of their own public figures.
I am not speaking of people's interest in the sexual indiscretions of famous people, but their concern.

If people wish to hear what Charles and Camilla get up to between the sheets (or elsewhere) then that's their sad decision. But so long as Charles does his job properly then I feel that nobody should be concerned.

So far as US Presidents are concerned, I feel sure that the ready availability of willing sexual partners is one of the perks of the job - which some (or maybe even most) have taken advantage of. Clinton was unfortunate enough to have been found out; other have been luckier.

"Power", as Kissinger said, "Is the ultimate aphrodesiac. I feel sure he, too, can speak from personal experience.


Richard English
 
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Originally posted by markmywords48:
Unless I remember my history wrong, Edward wasn't "kicked out of office" but gave up his right to the crown of his own free will, making his choice between the crown and Mrs. Simpson.

But the fact is he was forced to choose. 'Both' wasn't an option.
 
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Our Monarch is, after all, the head of the Church of England.

My history is a little rusty on this subject, but didn't Henry VIII become head of the Church of England so he could divorce and remarry? I know his wives weren't divorcees themselves, but surely if a divorced monarch can remarry, what's wrong with a monarch marrying a divorcé(e)?

As I said, I'm not sure about the specifics of this subject, but I'm sure I learnt that there's a link between Henry VIII becoming head of the C of E and being allowed to divorce. So the C of E can hardly change its mind now really, especially as Henry VIII's 'patronage' no doubt helped it take power from Catholicism, which ultimately ended up in the UK no longer being religiously ruled by Rome.
 
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Speaking of the C of E, the title which the British Royal family is most proud of was a gift of the Pope: fidei defensor 'defender of the faith'. It was given to Henry VIII for a book he wrote (ghosted by St Sir Thomas More) defending the Catholic Church against its upstart German son, Martin Luther.
 
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Richard, it was I who gave the $6,000,000 figure for Clinton's pension, if he lives a normal life. I found the statistic online.

A Chicago Tribune editorial, "A Kinder, Gentler Fox Hunt," discussed the recent ban on using dogs to hunt fox in England. They quoted the British government as saying that hunting can "seriously compromise the welfare of the fox." That sounds typically British to me! Wink
 
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It is difficult to justify fox-hunting on the grounds of pest control, in the same way as it is difficult to justify the Trooping the Colour ceremony on the grounds of defence. The simple fact is that a love of pageantry is deeply engrained into the British psyche and we revere our old traditions.

Fox hunting is strange because it appeals to our love of pageantry and tradition but it goes against one of our other characteristics - a love of animals. Since the end result of a hunt is often to kill a fox, that is an objective that many animal-lovers dislike and there is hence much opposition to hunting.

However, the present Law is even more of an ass than most since it still allows hunts to gather, to ride with a pack of hounds - and to kill foxes. The only difference is that, instead of allowing the hounds to kill the fox in the way that pack animals always do - by tearing it to bits - the fox must now be shot. Whether that makes much difference as far as the fox is concerned I rather doubt - but I can see it making a difference to the hounds since I can foresee many gunshot accidents.

One thing that has come from this legislation is some very bad PR for the Government. By banning a traditional sport through dubious parliamentary tactics they have upset many who see it as a triumph for Government against democracy. And they have probably increased support for hunting by exposing its ritual and tradition to those who once knew and cared little about it.


Richard English
 
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But would that be how most Brits would describe the killing of the fox? Here we would just say that the hunting will seriously injure or kill the fox. I like the Brit's description much better!
 
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"seriously compromise the welfare of the fox."

I think that "polician-speak" not British phraseology.


Richard English
 
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The problem with "English" English, of course, is that so much of it is German. Court English from the long Hanoverian period took on the short a's, hard h's English of the foreign rulers in an attempt to make them feel at home. Then the Victorians got to it and changed all the grammar and spelling so as to Latinise words that weren't even Latin in origin. No wonder we're all mixed up.

Tinman--thanks for bringing up "herb". For some reason, and I have no idea what, it's one of the most un-crossable of Rubicons. I just can't bring myself to pronounce or hear 'erb with a dropped 'h'. Yet, as you point out, we're perfectly happy to pronounce "hour" as we do. Conclusion: English is a thoroughly decadent language, Esperanto, anyone?

[Note: Sorry - I'm new! I missed the fact that this thread has five pages and not just the first, but I'd still like to contribute. If my interruption seems awkward, I aplogise. And now, back to the fox-hunting...]
 
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Hello and welcome, Quickbeam! Great to see you here Smile

Don't worry about digressing - we do that all the time. Most normal conversations go off at tangents and end up nothing like how they started, and our threads are no different!
 
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Court English from the long Hanoverian period took on the short a's, hard h's English of the foreign rulers in an attempt to make them feel at home.

I have never been convinced by arguments that Court speech influenced language outside of the court. It is a well known linguistic myth that the Castillian lisp was caused by one Spanish monarch who lisped.
 
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Is it: "All these are above" or "All of these are above" or doesn't it matter?

On OEDILF while workshopping one of Richard's limericks, several Americans said that Americans would always use "of." Maybe I have just been influenced by the Brits here, but I don't think I'd have to use "of," though I might. What do you think?
 
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"All these are above" or "All of these are above"

They're both OK for me.
 
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If the metre fits without the of, use that form; if it fits with the of, use it that way. Perhaps common sense is too much to hope from the nitpickers at the OEDILF, however.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Bob used the word bugbear in a private message to me. I hadn't heard it before, but I love it! It means a bugaboo or "a fearsome imaginary creature, especially one evoked to frighten children."

Have I just missed this word, or is it chiefly British?
 
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Yes, I've heard folks here abouts use bugbear. About as equally often as bugaboo.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: jheem,
 
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I don't think I've ever met bugaboo outside American writing, whereas bugbear is quite common in speech and writing over here.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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In this blog I found an interesting comment. The British don't use the word "thrice?" It is once, twice and three times? Funny, "thrice" sounds so British to me, something like "whilst." Wink
 
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I wouldn't say that we never use it. It's a word that's unlikely to be used in everyday speech, as it seems slightly archaic and possibly pompous. In writing, however, it is still in use. I certainly wouldn't think of 'correcting' someone who used the word.

Wasn't there a popular song a while back, Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady? Perhaps 'thrice' wouldn't have scanned properly.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Originally posted by arnie:
I wouldn't say that we never use it. It's a word that's unlikely to be used in everyday speech, as it seems slightly archaic and possibly pompous. In writing, however, it is still in use. I certainly wouldn't think of 'correcting' someone who used the word.

Wasn't there a popular song a while back, Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady? Perhaps 'thrice' wouldn't have scanned properly.


Thrice is very unusual - even more pompous and affected than whilst, which a few foolish people do choose as a more formal version of while. Thrice sounds slightly biblical rather than English: wasn't Jesus thrice betrayed before the cock crow or something?

Does anybody know what Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady was all about. With Hello, it was easy becuase there was a video which explained all - probably America's finest contribution to culture in the whole of the 1980s.
 
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Originally posted by Richard English:
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It's sort of like Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.


Of course, it was the British Government that insisted, not the British public. The reason was that then, as now the Monarch is not allowed to take a divorcee as his queen. This is primarily to do with the Church's restrictions on such relationships. Our Monarch is, after all, the head of the Church of England.


Also, back in the 1950s, Princess Margaret (the Queen's sister) fell in love with a dashing war hero Group Captain Peter Townsend.

quote:
Many people feel that Edward would have made a better King than George, who didn't want the job and was never at ease in it - although he surely did a valiant job in the face of massive difficulties, both personal and political - of which the little spat with Adolph was just one.


Poor George had overcome a bad stammer. He was painfully shy as well. It was the Queen Mother who got him through and it was said that she blamed Edward for George's death at the relatively early age of 57.
 
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Wasn't there a popular song a while back, Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady?

I love that song! And, you are correct, "Once, Twice, Thrice a Lady" just wouldn't do it!

I never use "thrice," so I had always thought it a more British term. Interesting.
 
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It was the Queen Mother who got him through and it was said that she blamed Edward for George's death at the relatively early age of 57.

I suppose it helped her to have someone to blame but I understand that George died of cancer - brought on by his heavy smoking habit (which also led to his younger daughter's early death). The stress of his kingship wouldn't have helped his general health, I agree, but I doubt he'd have made old bones whatever his role in life.


Richard English
 
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I was on a train yesterday, and the guy sitting next to me was on his cell phone. I heard him say, "Let's grab lunch sometime."

First, my literal mind envisioned him reaching out, grabbing a lunch on the counter, and running away! Then I was wondering, do the British say "grab lunch?" Or "do lunch?"
 
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We say "have lunch" or perhaps "go for lunch" if we say anything at all but I suspect the concept of lunchtime meal/meeting is a little less entrenched in our culture.
 
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I'd say, "Let's have a pint"


Richard English
 
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I usually say "Let's get lunch", or even "Let's go to lunch". I probably also say "have lunch", but mostly to someone who I'm eating in with. Grabbing lunch doesn't sound strange, it is the same as getting lunch, except we're in a hurry, so we go to a faster place and eat faster, or even carry out, literally grabbing the food at the restaurant and carrying out with us. Of course, there's also "Let's do lunch", which I don't say, but the cliche is "I'll have my people call your people, we'll do lunch".

Unfortunately, I say "Let's go have a beer", showing truly how uncivilized we Americans have become.
 
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Unfortunately, I say "Let's go have a beer", showing truly how uncivilized we Americans have become.

I would beg to differ. I consider that's a sign of increasing civilisation. And when that beer becomes an Imperial Pint of cask-conditioned ale, then the process of civilising the Budweiser-drinking heathen is probably complete!


Richard English
 
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Compare

"Let's grab a beer"

to
quote:


"Let's share an Imperial Pint of cask-conditioned ale,"


Question .... does "civilization" negate expediency?
 
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Originally posted by jheem:
Speaking of the C of E, the title which the British Royal family is most proud of was a gift of the Pope: fidei defensor 'defender of the faith'. It was given to Henry VIII for a book he wrote (ghosted by St Sir Thomas More) defending the Catholic Church against its upstart German son, Martin Luther.


I'm old enough to remember when all British coins still had those words on them (abbreviated to "Fid def"). See this picture of the Florin, which was worth two shillings (1/10 of a pound at pre-decimalisation values). "Ind Imp" is an abbreviation for "Indiae Imperator" (Emperor of India back in the days when we still had an Empire).

For a list of inscriptions on British coins, see here.

I've just had a look at the modern coins in my purse and the inscription on them reads "Elizabeth II D. G. Reg. F. D." then the date
 
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Unfortunately, I say "Let's go have a beer", showing truly how uncivilized we Americans have become.


I've noticed that Americans all say "let's go have ...", whereas we Brits would say "let's go and have ...".

We would also say "please write to me", whereas you would say "please write me" (or "please mail me", which we wouldn't say at all).
 
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"Elizabeth II D. G. Reg. F. D."

In case anyone is wondering or even cares, the 'D.G.' stands for Dei Gratia, ' By God’s grace'.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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"Elizabeth II D. G. Reg. F. D."

In case anyone is wondering or even cares, the 'D.G.' stands for Dei Gratia, ' By God’s grace'.


That's why I posted the links to those explanatory sites Smile.
 
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the title 'defender of the faith' was given to Henry VIII for defending the Catholic Church against Martin Luther.
To which Luther replied with one of the all-time great insults. Luther called Henry "a pig, an ass, a dunghill, the spawn of an adder, a basilisk, a lying buffoon dressed in a king's robes, a mad fool with a frothy mouth and a whorish face." [William Cobbett, History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland (1827)]
 
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I recently read an article quoting Tony Blair as saying, "We are desperately sorry that...." We might say that we are "terribly" sorry or "very" sorry, but I can't say that we'd say "desperately sorry." Is that a common phrase in England?
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
I recently read an article quoting Tony Blair as saying, "We are desperately sorry that...." We might say that we are "terribly" sorry or "very" sorry, but I can't say that we'd say "desperately sorry." Is that a common phrase in England?


Sometimes, but mostly we would say "terribly" or "very" sorry too. I think he was trying to emphasise how sorry he'd decided we all felt.
 
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So I take it that "desperately sorry" is a common use in England. It isn't here in the U.S., no matter how sorry we all feel.
 
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Fortunately it's not that common as it is still reserved for extremes.

The "inflation" that we see in English whereby, for example, every grotty little sportsman is referred to as a "hero" I deplore. Once a powerful word is commonly used to describe a mundane concept, then what do you use to describe the more powerful concept?

If the English Football team's captain is "a hero" than what do we call the men and women of the emergency services who risk all to save the victims of terrorist attacks?

I hope that "desparately sorry" remains a rare phrase to describle occasions when sorrow is truly extreme.


Richard English
 
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You make a good point, Richard. Certainly most sportsmen are not heroes, even though those in the media often call them that.

I will reserve "desperately sorry" for that extreme circumstance then. We don't use it here, but I do like it. As you say, it is truly extreme.
 
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If I heard someone say "desperately sorry" I would almost interpret this as sarcasm. Of course, British sarcasm tends to differ a bit from American sarcasm, so I can understand why.
 
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