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I agree with Miss D-W, we are an uncouth lot.

posted 9/29/2007 5:50:35 AM |
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You don't hear many people being called "Miss" any more, do you?
It's not that the word has changed its meaning in the same manner as "wicked", for example which used to signify something unspeakably evil and now means cool, man.
Or indeed "cool", which in pre-hippie days suggested it was a bit chilly out there, take a coat...but now identifies as, well, pretty bloody exciting.
Then there is "gay", of course, which long ago just meant happy-go-lucky.
But "Miss" is not one of those. It just seems to have disappeared. There were vague attempts to introduce the non-matrimonial-status-specific "Ms" as its replacement, but though that might be fine when starting a letter, you still very rarely hear someone being addressed as the buzzing bee-like "Muzz". No wonder, really.

Miss World, Miss Saigon, Miss Marple, Miss Brahms (from the shudderingly awful Are You Being Served, Miss Piggy, Miss Moneypenny, Miss Tibbs and Miss Gatsby (from Fawlty Towers), Tiny Tim's teenage girlfriend Miss Vicky...
If at this moment you are pondering when Tiny Tim found the strength to amorously attach himself to a young lady, you are clearly thinking of the sickly "God bless us, everyone" Tiny Tim from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, not the ukulele-plinking weirdo of the late 1960s who surprised quite a lot of people by eventually marrying his Miss Vicki, many having secretly suspected he might have been happy-go-lucky, rather than just plain odd.
This "Miss" musing is inspired by a sweet looking, but clearly determined old lady from Sydney called Miss June Dally-Watkins, who is doubtless far closer to the genteel sisterhood of the Misses Tibbs and Gatsby than the late Tiny Tim's other half.
And I do apologise for calling her an old lady, when she is quite clearly a gentlewoman of mature years and should be addressed as such.
Anyway, Miss Dally-Watkins recently triggered one of those "Orstraya, youse are going down the torlet" stampedes we all enjoy so much when she accused the nation of behaving like animals.
Australians had dreadful table manners and their lack of social skills would embarrass a Barbarian.
As you can imagine, this set off warning sirens and flashing red lights above all news editors' desks (not to mention some grumbling by offended Barbarians).
"Have we turned into a nation of pigs?"
Join in our poll, tell us what you think.
Write, phone, log on, burn effigies...
Miss Dally-Watkins, seated demurely before a laden cake stand, accused us of becoming a nation in which "me" was now far more important than "we" and where modern women were too quick to tip the proverbial bucket (not Miss D-W's words, as you might imagine) on their male partners when they should be thanking them for opening car doors.
As for table manners, you could feel her fingers tighten their grip on the lavender-scented lace hankie.
"It is as if nobody has ever taught us to hold a knife and fork." she lamented.
Most even-handed of her to use the all-embracing "us" when she patently does not include herself among the pie-munching, burger-crunching, chip-gobbling, dim sim-gulping greedy guts herd who rarely encounter cutlery and take their behavioural cues from watching Bart and Homer Simpson each night at the dinner table.
All treated in a suitably "batty old Sydney socialite puts us straight" light-hearted manner.
Sadly, however, it's very hard to disagree with her assessment.

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I agree with Miss D-W, we are an uncouth lot.
Blaming the carried is one big Con(nex)
What's that? Get a life? Get lost.
My admonition to modern art is: "Bottoms up!"
My amazing debate skills...
Story time...
For all you aspiring musicians out there...


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Sep 29 @ 5:54AM  
many having secretly suspected he might have been happy-go-lucky, rather than just plain odd.


Sep 29 @ 10:43AM  
Oh lawd... I can too use a knife and fork.. and I know which fork is for what course.. and the spooooooooons.. wait what were we talkin about? All my subs call me Miss Sam.

Sep 29 @ 2:06PM  
Miis is a word I still use on occassion. At times when I call my daughter I will ask her if Miss______ is home from school yet, or what Miss_______ is doing. (The 2 year old). Things like that.

and the spooooooooons..
Aren't they for flipping peas at someone? lol

Sep 29 @ 6:08PM  
I have been known to say...Mistress Ash...

Sep 29 @ 6:59PM  
accused us of becoming a nation in which "me" was now far more important than "we"
Unfortunately, that has happened every where.

Great Blog, H_N, I enjoyed it immensely.

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I agree with Miss D-W, we are an uncouth lot.