Thursday 30 July 2009

Cameron Aligns Himself with Browning

David Cameron's unfortunate on-air slip yesterday was a gift to the news editors on a quiet summer day. As so often with these things, I wonder if anyone actually took or is taking any offence. The word 'twat' just sounds so feeble, and, despite its anatomical meaning, seems destined to end up as no more than a near synonym for 'twit' or 'twerp'. Even the verbal use of it to mean punch in a pretty decisive manner sounds more comical than menacing. Was Cameron letting his poshness show? I don't think so - the word seems to be used pretty indiscriminately across the classes, and besides the truly posh have their own, French-style pronunciation for the word, lengthening the 'a' and not sounding the final 't'. Anyway, Cameron has a respectable literary antecedent, in the shape of Robert Browning. As every dirty-minded schoolboy knows, the poet inadvertently uses the word in Pippa Passes. All you need to know about that business - and a lot more - can be found

1 comment:

  1. I suppose those bits and bobs brought into play during the fine old game of nookie were bound to attract a host of names, pseudo-names, nicknames, sniggery names, derogatory names, highly descriptive names and so on. That a budding PM let one slip, albeit one that has fallen into disrepair, is healthier than the present prick's repression, no doubt brought about by his rearing in a manse. Apologies to male members world wide for using their name in the same sentence as Gord's.