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humble again
Posted: 07 June 2012 05:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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From 2003!  Your memory astounds and, well, humbles me.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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languagehat - 07 June 2012 05:14 AM

From 2003!  Your memory astounds and, well, humbles me.

I was going to say exactly that!

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Posted: 07 June 2012 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Unfortunately some of the comments in this thread I think are close to falling under rule 4 of this forum.

“The entire spectacle of the jubilee is an exercise in the British people humbling themselves before the queen”
Shows a misunderstanding of the person and office of the UK’s head of state, which leads I think to presumptions about the use of the term that may not be correct.  It may not be meant, but it reads as an irrelevant stab at that political system.

“I happened to be born to the right parents and all I did was what it seemed like I had to do at the time.  None of this is due to any great effort on my part and I just happened to live long enough to get this far.  Now I’m getting all this honour dumped on me.”
As opposed to “lying, buying and cheating my way into this top job”, which of course is also close to breaking rule 4 but is intended as an example and I am not indicating which country I am aiming at.

“…and especially not for She Who Has Everything but a Family Name.”
I did not realize that contributors to this forum has such close relationships to, and knowledge of the sentiments of, the UK Royal Family ;-)

Back to the subject. I think this is an example of a shift in meaning, but not a complete reversal.  Whether a heartfelt emotion or a comment deemed to be expedient, I read it as recognition that the support and size of the celebration is for the office and position that she is in, not for the single human.

Not saying this is true, but that is the sense intended.  A “relative humbling”, not a parallel with Uriah Heep’s usage…

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Posted: 07 June 2012 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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rule 4 of this forum.

“Don’t ask for a response to be sent by email”?

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Posted: 07 June 2012 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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"4. No political or religious discussions unless they have to do with political or religious terms and usage. (The occasional side comment is fine, but this is not the place to espouse your political views or to save our souls.) “

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Posted: 07 June 2012 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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This looks like a job for “excessive exposition man” (not to be confused with his first cousin, captain obvious):

There is a “welcome and rules of the road” and a sticky called “advice on posting”.  There is some overlap between the two, but the numbering is a little different.  The, “lay off the politics and religion” piece is #4 of the rules of the road but #4 of the advice on posting is “don’t seek a response by e-mail”.  [edited to fix some rather large errors.  I probably should have introduced myself as “can’t get his facts straight” man.]

But, I understand all of these to be like the pirate code: more of a guideline than a rule.  A somewhat politically charged comment isn’t necessarily forbidden, but a lengthy political diatribe would be utterly out of place.

[ Edited: 07 June 2012 09:43 AM by Svinyard118 ]
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Posted: 07 June 2012 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Sorry, I was looking at the rules in the “Advice on posting” sticky-topic.  Never mind.

Edit: ...and pipped by Svinyard.  Nevertheless: Dave, there seems to be some redundancy, as well as the opportunity for confusion, here.  Perhaps these should be consolidated?

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Posted: 07 June 2012 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I completely agree with Steve G.  I’m struggling to understand, though, why posts in a forum which has always supported evolution of word meaning through common usage are now saying that someone else’s words should mean what they, not the speaker, think it should mean.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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ElizaD - 07 June 2012 09:54 AM

I completely agree with Steve G.  I’m struggling to understand, though, why posts in a forum which has always supported evolution of word meaning through common usage are now saying that someone else’s words should mean what they, not the speaker, think it should mean.

And welcome back Eliza! Missed you.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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“The entire spectacle of the jubilee is an exercise in the British people humbling themselves before the queen”
Shows a misunderstanding of the person and office of the UK’s head of state, which leads I think to presumptions about the use of the term that may not be correct.  It may not be meant, but it reads as an irrelevant stab at that political system.

My comment was facetious, but there is a lot of truth in that quoted statement. Perhaps I should have said “crown,” instead of “queen” to better reflect the realities of the modern British government. There are all sorts of rules of etiquette concerning address to and behavior around the queen, which all serve to mark the subject’s/citizen’s obeisance to the state. Such formalities are not unique to Britain. In the States we do the same thing, albeit to a lesser extent, for the presidency. Such institutions of obeisance are, when not carried too far, important and functional. But it is healthy to recognize them for what they are.

However, I did make it clear that I did not think this was what the queen meant. She was using an idiom that expresses a socially required sense of modesty upon such occasions. Like many idioms, it is nonsensical on its face.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Oecolampadius - 07 June 2012 10:12 AM

And welcome back Eliza! Missed you.

Yes, welcome back and missed you and while you are here talk to us about Wordorigins.org Discussion Forums | ‘Hard’ and ‘soft’ drinks and do you say fizz drinks? Soda Water?

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Posted: 07 June 2012 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I completely agree with Steve G.  I’m struggling to understand, though, why posts in a forum which has always supported evolution of word meaning through common usage are now saying that someone else’s words should mean what they, not the speaker, think it should mean.

Bravo.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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And welcome back Eliza! Missed you.

From me as well!  Now please stick around; it’s a colder, grimmer .org without you.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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steve_g - 07 June 2012 08:06 AM

“I happened to be born to the right parents and all I did was what it seemed like I had to do at the time.  None of this is due to any great effort on my part and I just happened to live long enough to get this far.  Now I’m getting all this honour dumped on me.”

This was not intended to reflect any religious or political point of view.  It was intended solely as a simple statement of fact and a possible argument for her use of the term “humbling”.  She did not gain the position of monarch by striving for votes or by competing on the field of battle or any other form of competition.  She got it by simple virtue of being the eldest daughter of a man who was king, a king with no male heirs.  Whether she did anything that required great effort on her part I wouldn’t know, not being aware of any of the finer workings of the United Kingdom, but even if she had I could easily see that she might not think they were anything more than what any reasonably competent person would have done in her circumstances.  The fact that she has done this for 60 years is merely a consequence of her having survived those 60 years without losing her mental facilities.  I can easily see, from this point of view, that receiving all the attention she has gotten over the last few days could be a humbling experience.

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Posted: 07 June 2012 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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"Humbling.” You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I don’t see how receiving adulation, deserved or not, can possibly fit the literal (non-idiomatic) meaning of a “humbling experience.” Getting the pants beat off you in a race is a humbling experience. Failing a test that you were sure you knew enough to pass is a humbling experience. Watching a five-year-old program the DVR when you couldn’t do it is a humbling experience.

Receiving the cheers of tens of thousands is in no way a humbling experience.

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