The crude English

Rebecca Front: fundamentally frazzled

Rebecca Front: Rome left her fundamentally frazzled and full of self-satisfied crudity

One of the principal features of British culture is crudity

The crudity, writes Dalrymple,

is inexpressive: it is crudity as a dishonest pretence of democratic sentiment. Alas, affectation when practised long enough, becomes character.

The use of vulgar language by the rich, famous and privileged

has long been meant as a sign of attempted political rectitude. The reasoning is: if the people use vulgar language and I use vulgar language, I am of the people, notwithstanding my wealth, fame and privileges. Hence I can hang on to them with a good conscience, for by my vulgarity I have demonstrated my democratic credentials.

Chris Bryant unfrocked

The member for Rhondda: former priest Chris Bryant is partial to unfrocking himself from time to time for the edification of the world wide web

The purpose

is not to convey a meaning but an attitude. Unlike some vulgar expressions that are used naturally by the speakers of our language, self-conscious vulgarism is not only an attempted declaration of cultural (though not of financial) solidarity with the proletariat, but an attempt to disguise the banality of what is being said.

Dalrymple picks two recent examples, out of the thousands, of such crudity:

  • A description by Rebecca Front, described as an actress, of Rome as ‘arse-frazzlingly hot and humid’.
  • A statement (otherwise in every particular accurate and unexceptionable) by James Blunt, described as a singer, addressed to Chris ‘Underpants’ Bryant, a member of the British parliament: ‘You classist gimp….It is your…ideas that make our country crap, far more than my shit songs….You prejudiced wazzock. I worked my arse off.’
James Blunt: cloacal songs

James Blunt: cloacal songs

I had to look up gimp in the admirable Urban Dictionary. It is defined as

A male BDSM [bondage, discipline, sadomasochism] rubber/leather slave. A slave in full-body suit, e.g. rubber or leather enclosure suit, and a full head-mask.

Wazzock is defined as ‘a foolish person’. Origin unknown.

Crap

Crap

Crapper

Crapper

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