Posted By: Capfka Only in England ... - 03/14/04 07:33 PM
Elderly chap came up to our stall at the Oundle Farmers Market yesterday morning and looked at our wares for a while. Then he looked at our flyer and then went back to looking at the goods.

I asked him if I could help him.

"I'm just cogitating," he said.

"Cogitate away," I replied.

But where else in the world would someone say that completely unselfconsciously?

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu Re: Only in England ... - 03/14/04 09:07 PM
he prolly lurks on AWAD...

Posted By: Kupatchka Re: Only in England ... - 03/14/04 09:08 PM
Must be my age, but it doesn't sound strange to me--just the sort of thing my family would have said (a Texas from a long line of southerners.) But I have a question perhaps you can answer. I notice in "Keeping up Appearances" that Hyacinth's sisters and brother-in-law use the word "our" before the names of their sisters, as in "Our Rose". I think it's charming, and wonder if it is commonly used in Great Britain. I also note that Hyacinth never uses the term. Is that because it wouldn't be in keeping with her always trying to keep up appearances?

Posted By: Capfka Re: Whose? ... Ours, prolly - 03/14/04 09:19 PM
I don't know the distribution of the use of "our" so-and-so, Kapatchka, but I would guess that it came into use in the first place to distinguish someone who belongs to the family from someone else with the same name who doesn't.

"Our Rose is on good form tonight."

"Yeah, better than Rose from No. 10!"

This be Rhuby territory. Where be Rhuby?

Posted By: Kupatchka Re: Whose? ... Ours, prolly - 03/14/04 09:49 PM
But sometimes it's used about the person being spoken to.

Posted By: Capfka Re: Whose? ... Ours, prolly - 03/14/04 11:41 PM
I was talking about its origins, not its current usage. You are quite right.

Posted By: dodyskin Re: Whose? ... Ours, prolly - 03/15/04 04:37 PM
i wuz cogitating on this point and am relating my ramblings

*in the north we say, 'our kid' and, 'your kid' when referring to siblings but never, 'my kid'

*we also say, our mam and, our dad, but never, 'our mum'-- unless talking about, 'our mum', to a third party in the presence of a sibling

*in the tv adaptation of Pride and Prejudice Jane says, 'our mother' to Lizzie

*to differentiate between people of the same name who are not relatives we say, 'my Joe' and, 'your Joe' (insert appropriate name)--you pick which one according to who has the closest relationship

Posted By: Bingley Re: Only in England ... - 03/16/04 07:48 AM
I haven't seen "Keeping Up Appearances", but, yes, I would think someone who was keen on keeping up appearances would shun 'our' + first name. It definitely doesn't sound very upwardly mobile, shall we say.

Posted By: Sparteye Re: Only in England ... - 04/19/04 12:03 AM
I wouldn't be surprised to have somebody locally tell me he was just cogitating. Is the word no longer used in NZ?

Posted By: sjmaxq Re: Only in England ... - 04/19/04 03:22 AM
>I wouldn't be surprised to have somebody locally tell me he was just cogitating. Is the word no longer used in NZ?

Probably more a case of the action itself not happening very often here.

Posted By: Jenet Re: Whose? ... Ours, prolly - 04/19/04 06:48 AM
It's been mentioned, but I should emphasise that 'our Jane' (or dialect forms such as 'wor') is felt very much as a Northern form. It's one of the instantly available features you can use to place or caricature someone, especially the vocative use. So someone consciously dropping her roots, using Southern 'but' vowels instead of the 'put' sound, wouldn't use it.

If the TV adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice' used 'our mother' then it modernised it to avoid a jarring effect. Jane Austen's characters always say 'my mother', even between sisters:

In reply to:

Elizabeth jumped out; and, after giving each of them an hasty kiss, hurried into the vestibule, where Jane, who came running down stairs from her mother's apartment, immediately met her.

Elizabeth, as she affectionately embraced her, whilst tears filled the eyes of both, lost not a moment in asking whether any thing had been heard of the fugitives.

'Not yet,' replied Jane. 'But now that my dear uncle is come, I hope every thing will be well.'

'Is my father in town?'

'Yes, he went on Tuesday, as I wrote you word.'

'And have you heard from him often?'

'We have heard only once. He wrote me a few lines on Wednesday, to say that he had arrived in safety, and to give me his directions, which I particularly begged him to do. He merely added that he should not write again till he had something of importance to mention.'

'And my mother -- How is she? How are you all?'

'My mother is tolerably well, I trust; though her spirits are greatly shaken. She is up stairs, and will have great satisfaction in seeing you all. She does not yet leave her dressing-room. Mary and Kitty, thank Heaven! are quite well.'

So Elizabeth and Jane say 'my mother' to each other in direct sequence, as well as 'my father', 'my uncle', and the author uses 'her mother' not 'their mother'. I did a search, and the expression 'our mother' doesn't occur at all in the book.

Posted By: dodyskin Re: Whose? ... Ours, prolly - 04/19/04 10:59 AM
'Pride and Prejudice' used 'our mother' then it modernised it to avoid a jarring effect

yep, thats what i figured, didnt work though, i remember it cuz the expression sounded very odd coming out of a middle class home counties woman, even if she was from the early 1800s.
do other countries, english speaking or otherwise have such a finely tuned class/education/region ear? i can place a mancunian to a square mile usually, sometimes to within a few streets. north west by borough and every one else i can make a fair guess at region, upbringing etc. i think this is pretty normal for an english person, and almost totally unconscious. what do you lot think?

Posted By: Jackie Re: Whose? ... Ours, prolly - 04/20/04 02:05 AM
Oh, yay--two rays of sunshine to give me a smile today. Good to see you, Jenet and dody!

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