One thing I always liked about America was how quick they are to adopt neologisms and develop language.
If you’re in america you might agree to meet someone for lunch and drive for hours to get there – at the same time everyone is dropping adverbs – as its an extra syllable- nobody has time for that stuff anymore.
On Being 8
The same thing happens to 8 year old children in England. Simultaneously, across all,schools without anyone informing the children.
Suddenly sorry seems to be too long a word.
It’s the 8 year old way of saying ‘let’s get past this’
‘Let’s get back to serious play’
Everybody starts saying “Soz”
The next level of socialisation has arrived.
The adults are to blame
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s the adults in that village they pick up the social biases and prejudices without knowing why. So they repeat them entirely innocently.
Smell the cheese
Does anyone know how this one started?
You would hide a fist within a cupped hand and ask someone to smell the cheese, holding both hands towards their nose. If they moved closer to smell you open the cupped hand and punch them with the other.
After we got bored with smell the cheese, at our school, the question was :
Are you a botter?
We knew some people liked bots. We knew liking bots was bad. We didn’t know why. Why didn’t matter.
We knew it was better than smell the cheese. Instead of hitting them,we could laugh at them. As everybody knows it’s bad to be a botter. Even though we didn’t know what one was. But we knew humiliation was more powerful than violence.
These childish games didn’t last long. Everyone caught on the answer was no.
Advice as an adult
May I advise you,if you’re not sure about anything-always say no first. You can change your mind later. Which is always better than the other way around. Unless you’re the person asking someone to smell the cheese,of course.
Prejudice starts off innocently, it is repeated, ingrained. As
As you get older you forget to stop and wonder where it came from. Does it make you a bad person? Because you were hurt when you smelled the cheese and didn’t realise it was bad to be a botter,so everyone laughed at you.
As we go through life we realise it’s the past humiliations we can’t face that keeps us from change. Keeps us from being better people. For the children humiliated it is the adult opprobrium and judgement that makes it even harder. We start off with innocence and we become lost. To ourselves and to each other.
An entirely separate issue, I would highly recommend Wensleydale cheese. I walked past where it is made last week and it’s available all over america. And please,smell the cheese.