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Of bananas and bluestockings

My last poll combined two quite separate thoughts - I see responses are now well into three figures!

The banana question has puzzled me for a while. I heard on a radio programme many years ago that monkeys in the wild open their bananas from the "other" end, wondered why, tried it myself, found it was easier and have done so ever since. It has puzzled me that so few people do it that way. I can cite Slate in my support, but then again who takes advice from on-line economics columns about how to eat their food?

The bluestocking question was raised in my mind by Loades' biography of Cecil, in which he uses it a couple of times of well-educated Elizabethan women. I found the term somewhat quaint and a little confusing, and wondered whether this was a case where an old-fashioned term is considered offensive by those to whom it would be applied today (as is often the way with old-fashioned terms). The answer in this case seems to be a general but not unanimous "yes".

Thanks for the input, everyone!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 28th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Bluestockings
Thanks for the references, something jarred my brain with it as an Elizabethan term but I didn't know why. I've come across it in literature mostly as a term for a woman with intellectual capabilities or ambitions above the norm, and prepared to fight for the right to achieve them. The perjorative aspect of it kicks in with other women using it as a synonym for "unmarriageable", in a similar way to Swot, Brainy, or Nerd. So it's in Georgette Heyers, usually uttered by the mother of the brainless beauty who is trying in vain to attract the hero.

It'll be interesting to see if anyone uses it of Abigail Adams in the mini-series - she certainly had all the hallmarks and is in the right period.
Dec. 28th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Bluestockings
Surely corduroys and a neckerchief was outdated as Aufentic Working Class wear by the 1980s?
Dec. 28th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Bananas
I saw a thing on GMTV with a fairtrade Banana grower and he was saying that it was supposed to be opened from the end A on you diagram and it is much easier - so that is where I got that from.
Dec. 28th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
I had never heard that it's easier to eat bananas from the other end. I will have to try it out on my next banana.
Dec. 28th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
Ah, but there's the trick for opening a banana with the flick of a wrist, which only works at end B.
Dec. 29th, 2008 10:45 am (UTC)
My beloved reports that the monkey who stole all her bananas in Ethiopia opened them from the middle.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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