4 May 2019

"Lore Enforcement"

The other day, I heard a long discussion on the wireless about "Lore Enforcement". It is a subject that has puzzled me for years. Politicians on-the-make wax eloquent about it. They're jolly keen on "Lore and Order, too. But they never specify what sort of "lore" is to be "enforced". Morris Dancing? American Footie with girls waggling pom-poms? Cabers tossed in the Scottish Highlands? Ravens preserved in the Tower of London or Monkeys on the Rock of Gibralter? And why should Lore be "enforced"?

Perhaps the attraction of Lore has disappeared in our culture. Three or four dacades ago, Bridesheasd Revisited was beautifully filmed for a Beeb TV series (don't confuse this with a much more recent cretinous and disastrous cinema version). But there were one or two textual slips. Ryder as narrator is talking about his first Oxford Trinity term in the company of Sebastian Flyte. Toward the end of this term, he had needed to cram the texts prescribed in the Statuta, texts of which "I remember no syllable now; but the other, more ancient lore which I acquired that term will be with me in one shape or another to my last hour".

Ryder's words, converted by the script-writers into a voice-over, inadvertently changed this to "the other, more ancient love," thus narrowing and limiting "lore" into the Love which dared not speak its name.

Homosexuality was, of course, still then unlawful.

Or do I mean unloreful ...

7 comments:

Chatto said...

I believe the Jeremy Irons-starring 'Brideshead' was an ITV production, not from dear old Auntie. I met an old producer once who told me this frequent confusion is still a sore point for those involved in the series' creation!

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

This is (if I may write this without seeming patronising) a perfect example of the attention to the finer details of our culture which renders this blog such an invariably rewarding read.

John Nolan said...

Atually, Father, the TV adaptation of 'Brideshead' to which you refer (screenplay by John Mortimer) was made by Granada Television.

It contains few errors. One, which was quickly picked up, was when Bridey mentions meeting the (Catholic) bishop 'in London' which came out as his meeting 'the Bishop of London'.

Another was the inability of the pious Cordelia to pronounce 'quomodo sedet sola civitas'.

Banshee said...

That used to confuse me quite a lot, on old Doctor Who episodes or old detective shows, because it often showed up in a context where either law or lore could be correct.

All that rhotic pronunciation stuff. Boston does it too.

JohnnieDeb said...

Just a small correction, Father: Brideshead was not produced by the BBC but by Granda TV in those glory days in which it made the also splendid Jewel in the Crown, which I daresay you enjoyed too. I agree entirely about the lamentable film adaptation, which bashed on as if Catholicism was an incidental inconvenience rather than the core of the work.

Donna Bethell (formerly known as Rose Marie) said...

Here across the pond in parts of New England,the propensity to pronounce an "r" that isn't there and not to pronounce an "r" that is there is well-known. Many of us remember President Kennedy's "vigah" and "Cuber." My young cousin from Rhode Island once reported that his brother was suffering from "dire rear."

John Vasc said...

Oh Lor'! (Heaven only knows...)