Apr 11, 2008

Mind Your Language

I read probably two articles from reddit today and couldn't stop reading the comments.
First was a long list of Top 10 Banned Movies of All Time, which led me to search for a better list, then I got snagged on Top 50 Dystopia Movies, which was the worst list ever. The comments made up for it.

The second article had to do with some chav Londoner using Cockney rhyming slang ordering a taxi over the phone with the phrase, "All I want is your cheapest cab, innit. I need it for 10am. How much is it?" They ship her a cabinet and blah blah..fake story. Anyway, this took me on a wiki-trip and I found myself totally perplexed on how rhyming slang works. In the article it mentions a 1970s British comedy series called Mind Your Language which was "set in a school for adult students in London, focusing on the English as a Foreign Language class and dealing with a motley crew of foreigners. A new version of the show with some of the original cast aired in 1986."
I found the show pretty entertaining, though "more recently the show has been criticised for unimaginative racism and lack of political correctness, but in its day the show was popular because of its light-hearted take on multiculturalism and because it gave some otherwise unrepresented minorities a television presence, albeit represented as caricatures."

What I found interesting was that it gave a good example of European humor, and not the typical Monty Python sort. I read an article or conversation at one point where there was a discussion of humor that Americans don't pick up or something. I'll find it somewhere. I remember thinking the difference was more about word games or something. I guess it would be hard not to find humor with so many languages and cultures criss-crossing and surrounding Europe.

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