ENGLISHING

Penny Hunt's blog coffee conversationsIs there an agreed cut – off date for wishing those we meet ‘Happy New Year’?

The café was much emptier than usual, and this quickly became an all-inclusive discussion.

A new customer entered just as we were voting on whether an official date was needed and, if so, whether it should be the end of January or the end of the first week in January (a little mean spirited that, I think). He contributed immediately (what a joiner) with the suggestion that the real question should be about resolutions. Groans, eye rolling, and surreptitious distancing from pastries greeted this idea.
Drawing by Penny Hunt of two Elizabethan gents discussing New Year resolutions
But he was graciously granted a defence allowance. He clarified his view.

This was that at least asking about resolutions, however cheesy, led to conversation. Cheerily wishing someone ‘HNY’ was essentially closing down conversation, to his mind.

Our in-between-Christmas-and-New-Year-temporary-barrista was quick on the counter attack.
But resolutions are irrelevant. They mean nothing. Me? I just assume the new year will bring a much deserved purple patch.
Ah.
I wonder where that phrase comes from?” mused a chum.

We all fell to googling and within seconds were comparing findings, talking over each other and exchanging quotes.

Purple prose? A florid prose section for dramatic effect? And lo – apparently a phrase first used of Elizabeth 1’s translations of Horace!
And they weren’t called translations then – they were called ‘Englishings’.image01

So a game started about other lost words that we would secretly like brought back into everyday use, and….
I caught the eye of the new customer.
Rest my case.” he said.
So, in the spirit of starting spirited conversation…
Happy New Year. And……how are the resolutions going?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s