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Re: Review of 'Swallows, Amazons and Coots'


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Posted by Ed Kiser on January 20, 2017 at 10:48:09 user Kisered.

In Reply to: Re: Review of 'Swallows, Amazons and Coots' posted by Mike Field on January 20, 2017 at 03:06:15:

As an American, I cannot judge if certain expressions are still used in the British version of English, but there is one that I feel is possibly becoming a bit out of date (my guess), and that is, "I say>"

There are 469 times that expression is used in the Ransome 12. I do not know if that is still in current usage, or is this just a sample of the 1930's, or is that today still in popular usage.

In my reading of these books, the "I say" expression was very much a standout as being not the way I would say things. Then there was the spellings that my American spell checker kept harassing me about as I typed these texts into my computer. Another surprise of language usage differences came early in S&A as Roger ran up to the others while waving the telegram, and John questions him, saying, "DESPATCHES?" I never would have said that, and I would have spelled it as "DIS..." But this was part of the fun, the mystery, the joy of deciphering these expressions as being different from what I was used to. It was an Education, one that introduced me to some terms a sailor would know, but that I had to learn about, such as my feeling of success when I finally understood what the "Painter" was, that it had nothing to do with smearing stuff on the side of a house. A "Sheet" is not necessarily just what one spreads on a bed. A "Traveler" has nothing to do with someone on vacation. Then the truly foreign words of "pintle and gudgeon" both of which upset my American Spell checker. Reading Ransome has been an educational pleasure, showing me new places, new ideas, and a play world of fantasy that was made out to be so real He triggered my interest in signalling, a learned skill that gave me a leadership position in my group of Boy Scouts. For all he brought into my life, I am truly grateful.

Ed Kiser, Kentucky, USA [ kisered@aol.com ]


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