I was reading Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles the other day when at one point, a character described the eponymous heroine as “a crummy girl.” As with many of Hardy’s novels, which are full of 19th-century English West-Country dialect, there was an explanatory note. I was going to pass over it, as there are many such notes, and I don’t want to interrupt my reading flow by stopping for each one. Plus, the meaning was pretty clear from the context: it obviously meant attractive.
Writing about the accents I hear in my head while reading yesterday made me think about another recent case of some literary American/British English differences. Continue reading
Why is it that gal is the feminine equivalent of guy?
And what’s the story with guy, for that matter?
I was sitting here this morning, not sure what to write, and thinking I might take a little break for today. You know, go outside and enjoy the drizzle. However, I was listening to the song “Lay Lady Lay,” which contains the line You can have your cake and eat it too. And that got me thinking.
I passed a poster for an event called Pandemonium this morning (I’m not sure what the event was, so I guess it’s not a very effective poster). That’s not a word I’ve given much attention to in the past, I thought, but looking at it now, does it mean what I think it means?