Tuesday 2 September 2014

Euphemisms about Humour and Money (in quotes)

Southern lady
“First published in 1975, Florence King's long spoof of Southerners and all they hold dear comes across as brittle and occasionally arch.” (Publisher's Weekly on Southern Ladies and Gentlemen They mean "critical".)

“Her books tend to be laced with a large dollop of (at times slightly dark) humour.” (ponymadbooklovers.co.uk on Joanna Cannan. They mean "critical" again. There are silly grownups - sentimental animal lovers who transgress the country code, leave gates open and lose dogs - and some pretty vicious children.)

“What humour there is, is all so gentle as to be practically nonexistent - or perhaps it only works if one is an initiate to some secret society.” (Australian imdb.com commenter on The Amorous Prawn. They mean "not funny".)

“Fun is humour for people without a sense of humour.” (Euan Ferguson)

“Mary Beard is a wickedly subversive commentator on both the modern and the ancient world.” (Her TLS blog. I think they mean "lady with grey hair is a bit of a socialist – and she’s funny, too!" And "critical".)


Is your divorce messy, acrimonious (expensive) or amicable (cheap)?

“Judge’s anger adds to acrimony of £500m divorce of Laura Ashley boss Khoo Kay Peng” (Independent Headline May 2014)

“Tarrant pleads for amicable divorce as wife seeks £17m” (Evening Standard headline, 19 Sept 2006)

“The pair have agreed to split all assets equally and share joint custody of their children. His wife will keep the family home and automobiles, while Santorum will keep most of the couple's wardrobe. Several seasoned divorce attorneys say that such an amicable financial settlement is unusual.” (dailycurrant.com)

“Prenuptial agreements are booming among wealthy couples desperate to avoid the expense of a messy contested divorce settlement.” (Evening Standard, 7 May 2008 Lawyers cost, too.)

“People said the legal and financial stickiness of divorce was a ‘hassle’, and that made them shy away from marriage.” (atlantic.com 2012 Meaning that they thought divorce would be too expensive.)

The breakup was very messy, as he asked me for time to think and I subsequently discovered he was seeing someone else. (psychcentral.com Dishonest?)

“When media companies talk about ‘the solution’ or ‘the answer’, what they really want to know is ‘Who should we copy?’” (Andrew Brown/@seatrout)

“Sexualisation of children: sexuality-based commercialisation of growing youth.” (@polleetickle)

More here, and links to the rest.


  1. I have to say that "brittle" and "arch" are words I do not associate with Florence King. She is a very sharp writer, but willing to deal blows with her closed fist in the gut or on the funny bone.

  2. Ha ha, yes exactly! Sounds like a health warning from the publisher.

  3. Whatever happened to Florence King? I really enjoyed several of her books in the 1980s.
    Another euphemism: French people (of course) don't care AT ALL about their leaders' sex lives.So they are buying the discarded mistress book right now SOLELY to be shocked about Hollande's political views. Apparently. Do we believe that?

  4. What's the French for "ha ha"? I hope a lot of people buy the discarded mistress's book - as a mistress she gets no alimony. She doesn't even get half the palace!