Saturday, 14 March 2009

Was it something I said?

There has been an extremely odd reaction (voiced on another blog) to something I wrote in the post below. The author has totally misconstrued my intentions and I am at a loss to know how to rectify the situation. I cannot believe he really thinks what he says.

I can only presume that the use of the word 'queer' in an expression I used has been seized upon to detract from the substance of my claim, which was that his position on allotments has been somewhat equivocal, and at least does not deserve the publicity he has gained from the story in question. There is no other explanation for his 'misinterpretation'. If there is please someone comment here.

I have no interest in anyone's sexuality. If I had I would certainly not air it on my website, and I certainly would not use such an offensive word.

My late mother, who died last May aged 91, was a Yorkshirewoman who spent almost all her married life in a London suburb. Her native accent was indeed "faintly detectable", though less so than this councillor's. I thought the connection was apposite and not without humour.

In case reader you doubt me, see the first explanation I quickly found on the web of the expression I used:

Nowt is a dialect variant of ‘nought’ i.e. ‘nothing’. There's nowt sae queer as folk, Old saying.[1905 English Dialect Dict. IV. 304]

I trust you - find plenty of interest in people & their doings. Really ‘there is nowt so funny as folk’.[1939 J. Wood Letter 30 May in J. Chambers Letters (1979) 186]

There is the infinite charm and variety of human nature itself: ‘there's nowt so queer as folk.’[1955 R. E. Megarry Miscellany-at-Law i. 72]

‘You never really know anything about people. As LJ sometimes says, “There's nowt so strange as folk.” It's not like you can work people out on a chessboard.’[1993 B. D'amato Hard Women xxi. 243]‥

...and his creed that everyone is good copy. Or, as they would put it up North, that there's nowt so queer as folk.[2002 Oldie Apr. 57]

Related to: idiosyncrasy

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