Whaaat?

2006-12-06 10:22:54 UTC

The Independent, “A guide to email etiquette”:

When John Debrett founded his eponymous toffs’ “Bible” in 1769, he didn’t have to contend with such modern delights as the e-mail, text message and video-conference. Yet if the legendary expert in Georgian manners had been born 250 years later, you get the feeling that he’d have used digital technology in the nicest possible fashion.

No, he’d be using holographic technology. 1769 + 250 = 2019.

With this in mind, the publisher of Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage has dragged itself kicking and screaming into the 21st century…

Would someone please explain how it is possible to drag oneself kicking and screaming?

(That part is what the title refers to. It was originally the entirety of this post, before I realized that the entire article was worth fisking too. ☺)

For longstanding Debrett’s readers, who might normally use the book for advice on addressing the wife of a son of a baron, it is likely to be quite an eye-opener.

How can it be an eye-opener if for it to open your eyes, you must read it, and you cannot read anything without your eyes opened?

Next to a chapter on how to address a King or Queen (“Your Royal Highness” for the first time and subsequently “Sir” or “Ma’am” as appropriate) lies a beginners’ guide to text-messaging: “A quick and efficient method of communication, usually sent from one mobile phone to another.”

This is one poorly-organized book.

The advice offered by Debrett’s covers everything from the mundane to the potentially explosive.

Do not bring this book onto an airplane.

2 Responses to “Whaaat?”

  1. Anonymous Coward Says:

    He published it in 1769, but of course he wasn’t born in that year. Biography.com lists his approximate birthday as 1750:
    http://www.biography.com/search/article.do?id=9269182

    1750 + 250 = 2000. And anyway, you’re clearly taking the whole article too literally. The expressions “kicking and screaming”, “eye-opener”, and “explosive” are common idioms.

  2. Peter Hosey Says:

    [quote comment=”2682″]He published it in 1769, but of course he wasn’t born in that year. Biography.com lists his approximate birthday as 1750 … 1750 + 250 = 2000.[/quote]

    So he published it when he was 19. If he was born in 2000, and published it 19 years later, he’d be publishing it in… 2019. On holographic cubes. Like I said. ;)

    [quote comment=”2682″]And anyway, you’re clearly taking the whole article too literally. The expressions “kicking and screaming”, “eye-opener”, and “explosive” are common idioms.[/quote]

    Yes, I freely admit that I read and write quite literally. The pedantry of the article is totally characteristic of me. ☺

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