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Picture of jheem
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While looking up the proper spelling of argal, I came across the absolutely delightful Scottish term argy-bargy 'quarrelsome'. Argal is how Shakespeare recording one of his characters saying ergo (Latin for 'therefore'). To wit:

First Clo. It must be se offendendo; it cannot be else. For here lies the point: if I drown myself wittingly it argues an act; and an act hath three branches; it is, to act, to do, and to perform: argal, she drowned herself wittingly. [Hamlet V.i]

Some contend that argy-bargy from argle-bargle which is a reduplication of argle from argue. Partridge in his sublime dictionary spells it argol-bargol. Flyting also means 'quarrel' in Scots.

And is delightful an absolute? If something be full of delight, how can it be any fuller? So, is absolutely delightful some sort of monstrous grammatacism?

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My dictionary uses 'argle-bargle' though it does have the spelling 'argol-bargol dating from 1589. The definition of 'To bandy words, wrangle' dates from 1823 but it was always felt to be a perversion of 'argue' or 'haggle'. 'Argute' is another derivation of argue that referred to 'persons....quick, keen, subtle, shrewd, especially in small matters' in 1577. By 1719 it referred to a sharp or shrill person.

Personally I'm not convinced that 'delightful' is an absolute. In 1530 it merely meant something that was 'highly pleasing' while in 1687 it was 'experiencing delight', neither of which sound like absolute terms to me.

I've come across the term 'argy-bargy many times before and, as normally happens in these cases, never thought to question it. I never realised it was Scottish, thanks Jheem.
 
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You're welcome, Doad. I was kidding about delightful.

I just thought of a case where an absolute was used in the comparative form in a literary work and it was not meant by the author to indicate a substandard dialect.

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

George Orwell. Animal Farm, 1945.

We known exactly what Mr Orwell meant, and I would argue that not only is it good grammar but good writing.
 
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it was not meant by the author to indicate a substandard dialect.
On the other hand, one could say that Orwell was in fact indeed having his character inferior misuse of words -- specifically, he is showing the 'doublespeak' which is a major them of his book.

And I would agree that it is superb writing.
 
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Why do valley girls take two birth control pills each day?

So they can be "fer sure, fer sure."


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Why do valley girls take two birth control pills each day?

Who are "valley girls"?


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I think they are a US equivalent of "Essex Girls". Not quite but as near an equivalent as we have.

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Animal Farm is certainly an example of superb writing and is a novel that I have always enjoyed because it says so much. Sadly, as far as schools are concerned it seems to have had it's day. The political structure of the world has changed so much since the novel was first published that it is now almost impossible to teach it as I was at school. For modern children the cold war is ancient history so you can only talk to them about vague ideas of freedom that they really struggle to get to grips with. Certainly I don't teach that novel anymore as I use 'Of Mice and Men' instead.
 
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I think they are a US equivalent of "Essex Girls". Not quite but as near an equivalent as we have.

Yeah; like clotted cream: rich and thick.
 
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Not like Essex girls, then. Their main characteristic is an inability to keep their knickers above ankle level (or so I am informed)


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Lol - a near equivalent, not an exact one, RE!

Stereotypical Essex girls are generally pretty stupid, and generally nouveau riche too - with the most raucous Estuary accents to go with it.

I always called Mrs Beckham 'Essex Girl Spice' due to the above. Posh, indeed.
 
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Valley girls are definitely nouveau riche . . . and definitely spoiled. They have a very specific (and annoying) accent, and for a while they were known for saying "fer sure fer sure" in that accent. They also coined the phrase "gag me with a spoon". If you're familiar with American movies . . . the modern version of a valley girl is the main character of Legally Blonde.

Wikipedia says this about them. I love how their "see also" references bimbo.


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Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Love it, CW! Reminds me of a joke I found on the Internet years ago when I was supposed to be researching an essay (which also got done!):


How many Valley Girls does it take to change a lightbulb?

Ew, like, manual labour? Gag me with a spoon. For sure.
 
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That is an excellent one, Cat! I'm laughing big here!


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[QUOTE] They also coined the phrase "gag me with a spoon". If you're familiar with American movies . . .

Thanks for the clue, CW! I always wondered where that phrase came from! Smile
 
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