Skip to comments.Thought Police Go Overboard
Posted on 05/19/2005 6:47:47 PM PDT by blam
Thought police go overboard
By Richard Savill
The phrase "shipshape and Bristol fashion" should not be used because it is deemed to be politically incorrect, a group of councillors has been told.
A training firm told them that the phrase originated from the slave trade and described black people being ready for sale.
However Gerry Brooke, a Bristol historian, who edits a supplement in the city's Evening Post newspaper, said it derived from the good reputation Bristol had for constructing ships.
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable agrees: "The expression derives from the port of Bristol's reputation for efficiency in the days of sail."
Peter Abraham, the city's lord mayor, said: "I have used the term for 60 years and my family has and there is no way it can be regarded as politically incorrect."
Fifteen district councillors in Wyre Forest, which covers Kidderminster, Worcs, and about 70 council staff attended a two-day "equalities and diversity" course this month.
Stephen Clee, the council's Conservative leader, said:
"Part of the seminar concentrated on words and phrases which could be deemed offensive. A lot of the councillors thought this was political correctness gone mad. I am inclined to agree with them. No working practices will change."
Another phrase the training firm considered politically incorrect was "nitty gritty", which it claimed was used to describe slaves in the lowest reaches of ships. But the Oxford Reference Dictionary says its origin is unknown.
The training firm, based in Walsall, West Midlands, could not be contacted.
It's a reference to the fact that ships built in Bristol had relatively flat bottoms, making it possible for them to remain upright after the tide went out.
Got this story from a native of Bristol.
The origin of the term "nitty gritty" is unknown, but the online OED claims it's...American.
It's important to continue to condem PC at every opportunity. Control the language, and you control the debate.
The left has gone over the edge.
Does it occur to them that Bristol is a positive connotation?
Maybe they should outlaw the term "Africa" - for obvious reasons. Let's rename everything while we are at it.
I looked around and found only one original source on that crap, everyone else was basing their claims on this guy's BS.
These "Diversity Training" firms are thieves.
I will now bestow some of THE FANTASTIC sayings I had learnd from my dear Grandmother (Eveyln Ryndock)
"As black as colie's hole" (not sure of spellingon colie)
"Sounds like a goat shitt'in in a dishpan"
"You look like Ravel Gerty"
"Ready for Finnigan's Fright"
"Hathce..." as said for the LETTER H
"Who do you think you are... Mrs. McCleary?"
Long live the 50's colloquialisms
I heard the first one as "coalie's hole" meaning a coal mine. Man, does that one take me back.
I never 'got' the original meaning of many of them.. but the meaning was always understood.
Coalie's Hole was always after I had been out in the yard digging holes for my late Grandfather's (Dan) Tomoto seeds.
God I love it... god I miss him (thankfully, she is still going strong, now in her 80's)
I have a shaving brush that is about 20 years old. The bristols are still in fine shape.
The world is full of morons
They didn't mention "niggardly"!
Anybody else heard Brits use "Bristols" for boobs?
Leave us not forget the "niggardly" rants by pompous ignoramusii a few years back...
Well, here's a bit of interesting information on that phrase. Back in the 60's when I was in college, I had a popular political science professor. He was black, and also politically leftist, but conducted the class I took fairly and admirably, imo. He encouraged free discussion in the classroom, by raising an issue ('what is racism?' or 'what makes a country a 'democracy'?) and throwing it to us students. When our collective wisdom had exhausted itself, he would customarily say "Now let's get down to the real nitty gitty." So I can hardly believe the phrase had negative racial implications. In fact, rumor has it that the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band got the idea for their name from this same professor (they lived/taught in the same city).
Also, I recall a popular Motown hit of the 60's urging listeners to 'Get right down the the real nitty gritty'. So do white Englishmen know something American blacks have missed about racism and language? Not likely.