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Re: "Britishism" question

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  • ernestsdavis
    ... I m not sure these examples, or Sue s examples right British , right idiot are quite the same thing. These mean truly a hero , truly British etc.,
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 11, 2009
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      David <dbratman@...> wrote:
      >
      > Briefly, yes. Common usages of "right" for "real": "He's a right hero" or
      > "She's a right friend."

      I'm not sure these examples, or Sue's examples "right British", "right idiot" are quite the same thing. These mean "truly a hero", "truly
      British" etc., whereas "right name" does not mean "truly a name" but
      rather "rightful name".

      The fact that, as Janet points out, Eomer uses the phrase "right name" argues against the reading that Tolkien intends this as unsophisticated or rural; Eomer generally speaks in the same elevated diction as Aragorn.

      -- Ernie
    • ernestsdavis
      The OED has a couple of comparable quotes with right name (under right, a. Defn. 11 ) Properly pertaining or attached to a person or thing c1250 Gen. &
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 11, 2009
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        The OED has a couple of comparable quotes with "right name" (under
        "right, a. Defn. 11") "Properly pertaining or attached to a person or thing"


        c1250 Gen. & Ex. 2539 Pharao kinges righte name.
        1377 LANGL. P. Pl. B. v. 226 Rose the regratere was hir righte name.
        c1475 Rauf Coilghear 239 Wymond of the Wardrop is my richt Name.

        The examples that David and Sue mention seem closer to Defn.
        17. Justly entitled to the name; having the true character of; true, real, veritable. a. Of persons, their character or position.
        with examples like
        1727 SWIFT Gulliver IV. iii, The Houyhnhnms..could hardly believe me to be a right Yahoo, because my Body had a different Covering from others of my Kind.
        1813 SCOTT Rokeby I. xii, Right English all, they rush'd to blows.

        -- Ernie
      • Croft, Janet B.
        This has been an interesting discussion! Tolkien being Tolkien, I think he would be well aware of all the implications of such a word choice - that it might
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 11, 2009
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          This has been an interesting discussion!  Tolkien being Tolkien, I think he would be well aware of all the implications of such a word choice – that it might indicate the speaker’s accent, or the speaker adopting the accent of the person being spoken to, while at the very same time having an underlying nuance slightly different from “true” or “real” used in the same phrase, as indicated in the OED examples below. (John Rateliff’s article in the recent Tolkien Studies is a great study of Tolkien as the sort of meticulous artist with words who would make such a choice very deliberately.)

           

          Thanks, especially to John and Sue for first-hand experience!

           

          Janet Brennan Croft

           

          From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ernestsdavis
          Sent: Friday, December 11, 2009 4:05 PM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [mythsoc] Re: "Britishism" question

           

           


          The OED has a couple of comparable quotes with "right name" (under
          "right, a. Defn. 11") "Properly pertaining or attached to a person or thing"

          c1250 Gen. & Ex. 2539 Pharao kinges righte name.
          1377 LANGL. P. Pl. B. v. 226 Rose the regratere was hir righte name.
          c1475 Rauf Coilghear 239 Wymond of the Wardrop is my richt Name.

          The examples that David and Sue mention seem closer to Defn.
          17. Justly entitled to the name; having the true character of; true, real, veritable. a. Of persons, their character or position.
          with examples like
          1727 SWIFT Gulliver IV. iii, The Houyhnhnms..could hardly believe me to be a right Yahoo, because my Body had a different Covering from others of my Kind.
          1813 SCOTT Rokeby I. xii, Right English all, they rush'd to blows.

          -- Ernie

        • icelofangeln
          ... But that s not necessarily a contradiction: rural speech often preserves archaic elements, things that were once part of formal speech, for example in the
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 12, 2009
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            >
            > The fact that, as Janet points out, Eomer uses the phrase "right name" argues against the reading that Tolkien intends this as unsophisticated or rural; Eomer generally speaks in the same elevated diction as Aragorn.
            >

            But that's not necessarily a contradiction: rural speech often preserves archaic elements, things that were once part of formal speech, for example in the way some communities continued to use 'thee' and 'thou.' "Right X" is perfectly good Elizabethan English, as in Antony's plaint that Cleopatra "like a right gipsy hath at fast and loose/beguil'd me to the very heart of loss."

            (And what about the phrase "right now"? - just a living fossil, really. And "Right Honourable.")
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