Right, that’s me. The sun is shining, chores done, been for a walk, supper organised. Let me just take my Barbour off, nip to the loo … oh, and take a look in the bookcase to see whether I was right about the definition of that Latin word in Tatler. Now, that’s delving back to my school days – boarding school, that is, although I was a day pupil. Who else was going to exercise the ponies?! Mummy certainly couldn’t, she was too busy entertaining, organising dinner parties with characteristic aplomb, checking the wine cellar and making sure the labs hadn’t chewed the wellies in front of the Aga again! Oh, the life of the posh!
How utterly ridiculous! However, last week it came to light that a body called Perspectus Global – having nothing better to do, obviously – had taken it upon themselves to carry out a nationwide survey designed to reveal those traits which Brits consider are representative of true ‘poshness’. Well, one would, wouldn’t one! The thing is, I don’t really see the point other than to antagonise, as ever.
‘48 percent of us know someone who is properly posh, which according to the survey means they would never say ‘cutlery’, but they know how to properly eat with a knife and fork.’
Chloe Morgan for Mailonline, 12 May 2021, ‘Are YOU officially posh? …’
Well, what I would suggest is that he/she – as opposed to ‘they’ – would be more accomplished in terms of the written word and the correct use of punctuation. Moreover, ‘they know how to properly eat with a knife and fork’? Seriously? That is deemed posh?! Eating correctly and holding one’s knife and fork in the correct way – let alone in the correct hands – should be a given! Nothing to do with being posh, it’s called manners. Remember them?
I despair on so many levels. Why/how in this aggressively ‘woke’ climate is there no repercussion for the use of the word ‘posh’? Rhetorical, of course, for ‘posh’ is an insult – nay, an attack – on those deemed to have by those who have not; on those deemed to be privileged. Free speech is a thing of the past to all but the ‘chip’-driven left who make it their mission to ignore context, instead giving free-rein to their inner resentment on social media which, in turn, manifests itself in online, anonymous, bullying. Cowardly in the extreme, they are confident on this platform, all too aware that their chosen ‘victims’ will not retaliate. Why? Too posh? Only if one is suggesting they are in possession of both manners – and a brain!
Inverted snobbery. Alive and well. Always a one-way stream. Embarrassing. Pathetic. unnecessary. Anything else? Yes, sadly predictable. Aside from the underlying reasons for this survey – sugar-coated in humour – there is much irony in the mocking of many of the traits listed: for example, ‘you have shelves full of books’, ‘you know Latin’ (‘know’ Latin?!) and ‘you are good at small talk’. In other words, ‘you are EDUCATED’? Positively unacceptable! When did it ever become an asset to be ignorant?
Education is everything but education has many guises, whether it be gleaned in school, from books, through travelling or life experience, itself. The point is, education is all about bettering oneself; learning. Something which should be innate in each one of us, regardless. Interestingly, the word ‘education’ is derived from the Latin, ‘educo’ meaning ‘to. bring up, train, educate’. I have, sitting beside me on the table, my old school book, ‘The Approach to Latin’, which I took from the book shelves behind me. Forever grateful that I was taught Latin at school, I loved it, as did my father before me, and now his granddaughter teaches that very subject in my old school! The circle of life.
Regardless, far from being the dead language it is, mistakenly, portrayed by so many, it is an intrinsic part of life today: the basis of so many modern tongues, English, alone, must attribute much to the Latin derivative. A knowledge of Latin enables an understanding of language and the ability to determine the meaning of an unknown word through its root. It is inherent in the legal system, in medicine – in gardening, too – but, moreover, in learning its construction, one is instilled with a valuable discipline for life. Requiring of patience, diligence and memory, success in its translation instils both satisfaction and confidence. A dead language to be removed from the curriculum in Scottish state schools? Sadly, in the hands of the ignorant, it would seem that the mandatory inclusion of LGBTI issues takes precedence. With greater sadness, only the posh will recognise the inestimable loss.
There are a mere 40 traits on the list of those indicating ‘true poshness’, most of which – far from being worthy of mockery or insult – are representative of manners and skills learned. Reflective of a bygone era when, once, these attributes were valued – to be aspired to – this survey only serves as yet another reminder of the rumbling toxicity within society today. The malaise of envy and grievance breeding a determination to ‘pull down’ rather than ‘climb up’. I, for one, do not wish to live in a country whose measure is the lowest denominator. Nor do I wish to live in a country fixated on attacking the so-called ‘privileged’! Forget generalisation. It is dangerous. As one should not be defined by one’s race or colour, neither should one be defined by one’s background. We are, each, individuals, ultimately, in charge of our own destiny. Stop blaming others. In the words of my friend Ben – as in Fogle – ‘Look up!’. Actually, Ben is the perfect template for ‘true poshness’ – on the surface. Take the time to acquaint oneself with his story, however, and one will learn that it is courage, determination and his unfailing quest for self-belief which maketh the man.
In finishing, what about another survey? A different one: 40 Signs That You Are Genuinely … No, even I couldn’t write that (another trait?). Let’s just say, among them would be ‘You chew gum’, ‘You do not hold your knife and fork correctly’, ‘You watch ‘Eastenders and ‘Coronation Street’, ‘You can be found in Greggs’, ‘You like all-inclusive holidays’, ‘You don’t read’, ‘You have a television on the wall – and nothing else!’, ‘You have a penchant for black and grey’ and ‘You use the word ‘posh’. As I said, I wouldn’t dream of writing that …
‘The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.’
Jane Austen, ‘Northanger Abbey’.
What’s the betting she held her knife and fork correctly and, today, she would most definitely have owned ‘an old Barbour jacket’!
This is Trish, signing off.