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About Eccentric

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    died 14th September 2013
  1. Thankee, sirrah. I have just bought a ticket to Lancaster for 25 pounds, and concomitantly one from Lancaster to Barrow-in-Furness for 17 pounds. My calculator tells me that apparently equals 42 pounds. 42 pounds is also the price of a direct ticket from Sheffield to Barrow-in-Furness. The difference is, however, that I shall be in first class. The advantage of interrupting the journey in Lancaster is, ergo, that I can travel first class for the price of what would have been only standard with a direct ticket, and that I can quietly have a look round the city of Lancaster before proceeding unto Barrow later in the day. My chuffedness is hence rather considerable.
  2. Quizzing is not really a game, though, is it? The very purpose of life itself is to acquire all the knowledge that is available about absolutely everything and become a superhuman walking encyclopædia. That is was quizzing is all about: researching every single syllable.
  3. William III died in 1702, after which Anne became queen. She and Mary II had always been vicious rivals. Henry Purcell composed sublime music for her funeral, half a year before dying himself. William was busy in Ireland, colonising Ulster for the protestants, when she died. She was buried, on a bitterly cold day, in Westminster Abbey. There exists an anecdote that Purcell was playing some of his pieces to the queen on the harpsichord one day, and she suddenly grew tired of it, instead requesting the bass, John Gostling, to sing ‘Cold and raw the North did blow’ by Thomas D’Urfey, which is quite an obscene ballad. The composer, of course, was rather annoyed at that. Next year, when Purcell had been commissioned to compose the queen’s birthday ode (‘Love’s goddess sure was blind’), he used the tune of this bawdy-song in one of the movements. What Mary II thought of that, history does not tell us. From the little information that we have of either Purcell or William and Mary, a film has been made: it is called ‘England, my England’. Rebecca Front plays Mary II. I am quite obsessed with the late 17th century.
  4. Agreed. There is nowt wrong with a decent furlong, a farthing or a chain. In his autobiography, Patrick Moore wrote about a Mars probe that had gone mysteriously missing. It turned out that an intern at the control centre had entered metric values, whereas the probe had been programmed with real values. ‘Another example of the dangers of creeping metricisation,’ quoth he.
  5. There was nowt like German literature in that respect. Endless theorising without the slightest orientation or idea of what you were on about. You read the books, of course, but then it was all up to you to devise far-fetched theories. In English Literature, we were actually expected to reproduce the theories, even if we disagreed with them. It lacked the charming anarchy of German Lit.
  6. Having quondam lived in Flanders for about a 25-year-period, I do certainly laugh about it. It’s risible.
  7. Very good, that. By James Purdy, one of the few Americans worth reading. ---------- Post added 03-09-2013 at 20:05 ---------- I, on the other hand, know an awful lot about linguistics, and I think you are over-generalising the argument by not distinguishing ‘competence’ from ‘performance’. Chomsky would never deny that language can be correct; that is why grammar exists. In effect, what you are referring to is Gumperz’ concept of ‘code switching’, or call it diglossia if you like. What one must take into account in this case is that many people have no access to / mastery of the other ‘codes’. Basil Bernstein already described this in the fifties. Lower-educated people tend to possess a ‘restricted code’ — which simply means that their form of language does not conform to the correct norm (irrespective of what your enlightened definition of ‘correct’ might be). Inability to switch to the ‘elaborated code’ bars them from access to a society whose higher echelons identify one another by dint of said ‘code’. Thus: if you strive to climb the social ladder, you must learn to speak posher.
  8. I hardly think that is gender-related. You can be a verbal or a visual person, but that does not depend upon your physical make-up, i.e. what sex you are. There are slight differences betwixt male and female brains (on average), but they have the same potential.
  9. I can see the appeal of the place, and that was the reason I went there in the first place, but I once I was there, I just felt incredibly uneasy and sad. My mind said: ‘I do not want to be here’. I have visited hundreds of cemeteries; it’s a favourite pastime of mine whenever I am on holiday as well. But Wardsend gave me a queasy sensation. I really did not like it.
  10. People seem to have talked about this before; this thread did not come up, though, when I posted mine. http://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=19816 The only explanation must surely be that the thread is haunted.
  11. I have just paid a visit. What a bleak, awful place to be that is. What a shame and a blemish on the visage of the city. It is completely overgrown by weeds and strewn with litter. Half of the stones have collapsed or been sprayed with graffiti. If you climb the hill behind Owlerton stadium, you had better take good care not to break your neck; the footpath is derelict. By the entry, some youths had stoked up a fire. I did not really feel intimidated, because my mien and gait make me look rather cantankerous and sullen, but I was not completely at ease, either. Also, some graves near the top looked like they had not collapsed naturally but someone had deliberately been digging at them. I am aware that the cemetery had a history of body snatching in 19th century, but you should not be able to see traces of that after 150 years, should you? By Jove, I should not like to be on that hillside after sunset. General Cemetery (closed) and City Road Cemetery (still open) are agreeable places; they breathe an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity and are pleasing to the eye. If they can be well-maintained and neat, I do not see why the same could not be done for Wardsend. As it is now, however, it has to be the most unsettling place in the city.
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