chalcedony_cat: fan from the v&a (Default)
[personal profile] chalcedony_cat
Distasteful misogynistic language below.

I really liked the first season of Downton Abbey because, well, it is the sort of thing I like. But I was sad that in the final episode, one character dramatically calls another "slut". Surely the more likely term for 1914 was "whore"? I've been meaning to ask Google's ngram viewer about this for ages, and just now did, and it does look like slut was still mostly used for "an untidy woman, a slattern", although there is an interesting entry in a Pacific Reporter about whether or not it has the meaning of "unchaste woman" and is thus a slander. So quite possibly it already had the meaning it had today, but... I still think "whore" would have been more appropriate.

People who know more about this are welcome to inform me, since I am neither a Brit nor any sort of expert on early 20th century bad language.

Date: 2012-05-18 07:36 am (UTC)
oursin: A cloud of words from my LJ (word cloud)
From: [personal profile] oursin
In the 1960s Katharine Whitehorn wrote a piece about 'sluts' which was about being messy and domestically disorganised. The derogatory sexual meaning is rather more US than UK (e.g. in a book on adolescent girls' attitudes towards sexuality the term 'slag' was used, when I quoted from this in an article the editors added a parenthesis parsing it as 'slut'.)

Date: 2012-05-18 04:31 pm (UTC)
antisoppist: (tea)
From: [personal profile] antisoppist
I'm wondering whether "tart" might have been more in period but ngram results for that are confused by recipes for pastries.

Hello, by the way, I wandered by via Network and have added you on account of this and Angela Brazil.

Date: 2012-05-19 02:21 pm (UTC)
antisoppist: (Reading)
From: [personal profile] antisoppist
I've got several but not all Delafield and adult Streatfield. Adding new ones is a slow treat whenever I am in funds. In a way it will be sad when/if I achieve completion. I know people who find adult Streatfeild terribly downbeat compared with her children's books but I like seeing how she tackles the same themes in both, especially awkward children and appalling parents, where she was ahead of her time. What she had to do to The Whicharts to turn it into Ballet Shoes is fascinating and Saplings and When the Siren Wailed are a similar pair.

I haven't read any Mollie Panter-Downes. What is she like?

Re: books books books

Date: 2012-05-28 04:12 pm (UTC)
antisoppist: (Reading)
From: [personal profile] antisoppist
I read When the Siren Wailed as a child, and although it was written a long time after Saplings, I thought, once I'd read Saplings, that WTSW was trying to say the same things about how children were messed around physically and psychologically by the war and evacuation, although in a much more child-friendly way. As a child it was one of my least favourite Streatfeilds because it didn't end with happy-ever-after life in the country as the Colonel they are billeted with dies and they get sent from pillar to post again and it is all muddly, which of course is what it must have been like.

Persephone Books has a couple of Mollie Panter-Downs. I think I haven't tried them because I tend to prefer novels to short stories, although I do enjoy short stories once I've started. I'm saving up for summer holiday reading and might give her a try.

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