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This is a question Common

Freddy Woo writes, "My wife thinks calling the front room a lounge is common. Worse, a friend of hers recently admonished her daughter for calling a toilet, a toilet. Lavatory darling. It's lavatory."

My own mother refused to let me use the word 'oblong' instead of 'rectangle'. Which is just odd, to be honest.

What stuff do you think is common?

(, Thu 16 Oct 2008, 16:06)
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I dont get it
My mum always tells me saying 'WHAT?' is common and saying 'PARDON?' is posh.

But theres quite a few responses now which contradict her..
(, Wed 22 Oct 2008, 16:38, 10 replies)
With you on that one
I thought/was taught that saying 'what'? was the height of rudeness....
(, Wed 22 Oct 2008, 17:00, closed)
Your mother is correct.
The end.
(, Wed 22 Oct 2008, 17:08, closed)
Good Man!!
(, Thu 23 Oct 2008, 5:26, closed)
I've always thought
that "What?" was akin to grunting, while saying "Pardon?" or "I'm sorry?" was more polite.

I tend to ask people to repeat themselves a lot because I'm partly deaf.
(, Wed 22 Oct 2008, 17:14, closed)
'What?' seems a bit agressive. I'm not posh though, just well-mannered. I like to think.
(, Wed 22 Oct 2008, 17:18, closed)
That's the insanity of the whole class thing
(and why I think a) [some of] this QOTW is so funny and b) people going on about 'bloody snobs' and classism and 'it's just making fun of poor people' should lighten up)

I think the idea is that *common* people think "what" is common and "pardon" is posh, and *that* is why common people then say "pardon", therefore *actually* making it common and hence making "what" posh. Or something like that. Same with other words, making fancy words like "lavatory" common and "loo" posh.

I can only refer to my earlier answer in this QOTW. Go and read Watching the English.
(, Wed 22 Oct 2008, 18:12, closed)
did see your earlier answer
A lot of these posts are funny because we read them and recognise aspects of ‘commonness’ in ourselves, although we wouldn’t necessarily class ourselves as such. We are all different. Maybe it ‘ain’t what you say it’s the way that you say it’? I have really enjoyed this QOTW. I am also halfway through Ben Elton’s ‘Blind Faith’ at the moment, which, if you haven’t read it yet, I would recommend. Just hope he isn’t right!
(, Wed 22 Oct 2008, 18:31, closed)
Does it really matter?
They mean exactly the same thing.
(, Wed 22 Oct 2008, 19:15, closed)
maybe it doesn't
But if i said 'what?' to my mum when she asked me a question, she would be cross ;-)
(, Wed 22 Oct 2008, 19:54, closed)
Perhaps ...
'What' used to be more acceptable than 'Pardon' because it was an abbreviation for "What did you say?"

Whereas now, 'What' is more likely to be short for "What the fuck do you want!"
(, Thu 23 Oct 2008, 5:27, closed)

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