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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:31 am 
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From f-book. One person replied,
“Don’t tell my mother I play the UP....
she thinks I am a piano player in a whore house...“Image

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:00 am 
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I saw this on facebook this morning, I was going to share it here. Looks like you beat me to it. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:21 am 
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....took it seriously I see..... :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:24 pm 
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Yeah so I'm not a historian of England but I'm a historian of the 19th century and I'm detecting a strong odor of mendacity from that list.
Also what was the survey allegedly done the year after the census, and why bother to mention the census?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:34 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
... a strong odor of mendacity ...

A choice of words no doubt inspired by the list's decidedly Monty Pythonesque tone.

PB+J wrote:
Also what was the survey allegedly done the year after the census ...

Sorry, you're going to have to reframe that; does not translate into English.

PB+J wrote:
... and why bother to mention the census?

Because it's timely?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:18 pm 
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fatmac wrote:
....took it seriously I see..... :lol:

And why not? In Deeside, a British supermarket chain just sent a chicken nugget merrily into space. I'd expect anything out of you lot.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:59 pm 
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If that's the best they could do from a whole census I find that list rather lame with an element of mocking the common man. Artificial fish had to be coloured by someone and if the form asked the question it's reasonable answer. I guess some are facetious** but 'knockers up' were still working in my parents' younger days and I only heard them referred to as that - who else would they be waking up for their shift at the factory? Was 'workpeople' a 19th century term?

** Did 0.7% of the UK population really did have Jedi as a religion in 2001?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:52 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Artificial fish had to be coloured by someone and if the form asked the question it's reasonable answer.

There was only a contention that the answers were "curious". Does not "Colorist of artificial fish" qualify as a curious occupation? All the more so, because it's put so formally; could be s/he worked as a finisher in a fishing lure enterprise.

"Curious" only really becomes a euphemism for "spurious" in light of truly opaque entries like "Fatuous pauper" or "Count as female". Others more easily invite interpretation: you have "Knight of the Thimble" (probably a tailor), "Running about" (a courier, perhaps?), and other seemingly but not-so-obviously preposterous answers, so IMO the author of the blurb intentionally left wiggle-room in using the word. I'm unconvinced that everything on that list was meant to be dismissed as rubbish, but they undeniably are curious all, with many to be read into rather than taken at face value: "Turnip shepherd" is a lot more curious - and amusing - than "Produce farmer". "Grape dryer" I'm less sure of; was raisin production ever an industry in the UK? IIRC, it's normally pretty damp there; Cornwall, perhaps.

david_h wrote:
... 'knockers up' were still working in my parents' younger days and I only heard them referred to as that - who else would they be waking up for their shift at the factory?

See, that one caught my attention; I found the concept entirely plausible because the adjustable alarm clock wasn't patented until 1847, so in 1881 (and no doubt for some time afterward) they were probably yet to be cheaply mass-produced so as to be affordable for most average people. So, professional upknockers. Nevertheless, from a modern perspective it too qualifies as a curious occupation.

BTW, did you know that in the States, "knock up" means to make pregnant? Should a Right Ponder cheerily utter "Knock you up in the morning!" over here, it takes on a whole new character, and hilarity is bound to ensue even if we duly consider the source.

david_h wrote:
Was 'workpeople' a 19th century term?

Unsure of your drift, here. Is that supposed to be a rhetorical question? But to answer it on its own merits: I have no idea.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:50 pm 
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Satire anyone.........OOPS!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:56 pm 
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oleorezinator wrote:
Satire anyone.........OOPS!

I distinctly remember there being some mention made of the London Genealogical Society - or must we take that, too, as alternative facts?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:01 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
david_h wrote:
Was 'workpeople' a 19th century term?
Unsure of your drift, here. Is that supposed to be a rhetorical question? But to answer it on its own merits: I have no idea.
I think in 1881 'workers' was the common non-gender-specific term. 'Workpeople' sounds more like 2020 and I wonder if it's a recent editorial addition in anticipation of a readership who know left pond usage. I learned of that in a discussion somewhere of a 19th century text in which someone 'asked the lamplighter to knock her up' to catch an early train. I guess the lamplighter - another job made redundant by clockwork - was out and about turning the gas lights off in the morning twilight and so could have combined the jobs.

Nanohedron wrote:
Nevertheless, from a modern perspective it too qualifies as a curious occupation.
I guess that depends on how people use 'curious' and view curiosity. Some of these jobs make me curious about the social and economic history. To me the list in the OP is simply not witty enough to be humorous. As for the odd terminology I think many respondents would only ever have to give an occupation for a census form or for birth/marriage/death certificate or similar and may have either formulated something that they though appropriate for a official form or conjured something up on the spur of the moment. My mother's occupation on her marriage certificate offers a glimpse of a brief and long passed phase of the evolution of data processing - I've been in computers for decades and I had to Google it.

As for 'count as female' - that sort of thing comes up in many aggregates of questionnaire data (been there, done that) - entered or spilled into the wrong box originally or transcribed into the wrong box during modern database entry


Last edited by david_h on Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:03 am 
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By the way (for left ponders), I don't know what the original fb context was, but it may be something to do with this https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/oct/12/ballet-dancer-could-reskill-with-job-in-cyber-security-suggests-uk-government-ad


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:32 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
oleorezinator wrote:
Satire anyone.........OOPS!

I distinctly remember there being some mention made of the London Genealogical Society - or must we take that, too, as alternative facts?

I posted it for satirical content only.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:18 pm 
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david_h wrote:
I think in 1881 'workers' was the common non-gender-specific term.

Last I checked, it still is.

david_h wrote:
'Workpeople' sounds more like 2020 and I wonder if it's a recent editorial addition in anticipation of a readership who know left pond usage.

Oh, no you don't. "Workpeople" might surface now and again, but the suggestion that it must be Left Pond usage is redolent of a stereotype that anything unfamiliar or overwrought will by definition be Yanklish. It is neither Left Pond property, nor is it new. Did a check, and dictionaries agree that the word was first attested in 1700 or somewhat before, and two, including Merriam-Webster, say that the word is "chiefly British". That brought to light, I invite you to disabuse yourself of your prejudices and profit thereby.

For my part, up to now I don't recall ever having come across the ungainly compound in any regular way; "workers" would far and away be the norm on my soil. Normally I would suggest that "workpeople" would be the product of those who self-consciously want to up their locution game but go about it the wrong way, but given the word's age and pedigree, I think I should be more kind. :wink:

david_h wrote:
As for 'count as female' - that sort of thing comes up in many aggregates of questionnaire data (been there, done that) - entered or spilled into the wrong box originally or transcribed into the wrong box during modern database entry

Also entirely plausible.

oleorezinator wrote:
I posted it for satirical content only.

In the Pub? After all these years? Nothing is sacred; give us anything that presents a morsel, and we are crows on roadkill.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:30 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
david_h wrote:
'Workpeople' sounds more like 2020 and I wonder if it's a recent editorial addition in anticipation of a readership who know left pond usage.

Oh, no you don't. "Workpeople" might surface now and again
I meant the aforementioned left pond usage - "In anticipation of a readership who know left pond usage of the term 'knock up'". The occupation was 'knocker up'. In the UK, in 1881 or today, it did/does not need qualifying.

but
a) it's all getting rather laboured, and
b) The item in the OP is, in any case, a piece of left-pond whimsy.


Last edited by david_h on Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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