8 September 2021

How should we English "KAI TA LOIPA"?

So (aspicitis omnes modum hodiernum loquendi!) what is the Modern English for et cetera (or et caetera)?

D L Sayers, who had a deliciously careful ear for individuals and their idiolects, records a lower-middle-class woman undergradute who (1935) employed for this purpose the word "things" (would the Cockney equivalent have been "fings"?). 

" My mother's one of those people who work to get things open to women -- you know -- professions and things ... And they've made lots of sacrifices and things." 

But tempora mutantur

Nowadays, quite a few modish people say "earn stuff".

Exempli gratia: "I went shopping to get the foie gras* earn stuff." Or "I loathe Boris Johnson earn stuff."


Footnote 1: I suspect that I am not the only teacher who has occasionally snarled at a student "etc. means and all the other things I am supposed to know but don't." 

*Footnote 2: We are told that now, "having got Brexit done", we are fortunate enough to "have got our country back"; and so, naturally, the importation of foie gras will ... so rumour has it ... soon be made illegal. And the supplier in County Kerry from whom we have in the past bought our (wild Atlantic) smoked salmon tells us that, because of Brexit, he can no longer oblige. 

Seems like rank tyranny to me.

Is all this true? If so, I am tempted to return to the Sussex Coast and organise a massive smuggling business importing necessary foods (disguised as illegal immigrants so as to fool the Home Secretary and her Border Force). 

Rudyard Kipling's splendid Smugglers' Song will need another stanza, in (of course) the authentic old Sussex dialect as still spoken on Commuter Trains. It could be adopted as the anthem of the Free Britain guerilla force I am thinking of founding. Is there a tune that would fit?


Atticus said...

The standard tune to "Sing a song of sixpence" would fit the Kipling metrically, but hardly in mood.

Expeditus said...

So is so passé. Almost all radio interviews now begin with 'thank you for having me'. Who starts these things off and when do the sheep know to listen to her voice?

John Vasc said...

In the north, for 'etcetera' they say 'and that'. As in 'It's cos of Vatican II and that'.

Btw, the production of foie gras has been illegal in GB since 2006 on animal welfare grounds, as it also is in most of Austria, and the whole of the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, and Turkey. EU law prevents imports from one EU country being banned in another, as the French would Not Like It, but - regardless of Brexit - countries outside the EU aren't bound to allow imports of foods whose production infringes their own laws.

Re RoI supplies of wild Atlantic smoked salmon, delivery costs may be a factor for those retailers - I see delivery charges from the RoI to everywhere (including the EU) have soared to ca. £15 a consignment, plus VAT. However, if you google, you will find excellent wild salmon businesses in Northern Ireland, with remarkably cheap delivery charges to mainland Britain. The north of Scotland (e.g. Caithness) also has online delivery retailers of Wild Atlantic salmon.

Or you could mirror Oscar Browning, and go onto 'an inferior brand of paté and smoked salmon for Lent'!

PM said...

From a century ago, we have 'and all that', as in the splendid '1066 and All That'. One still sees Whiggish effusions in the media which make 1066 and All That look like a work of high scholarship by comparison.

Banshee said...

If anyone is not familiar with the American kippling tradition, particularly as held dear within old school science fiction and fantasy fandom, I assure you that Michael Longcor's rendition of "Smuggler's Song" is very fun and beautiful.


There's also Peter Bellamy's version, which has a different tune, but may be more familiar to UK folks.