BL: nice
Posted: 30 October 2013 03:51 AM   [ Ignore ]
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A chameleon word

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Posted: 30 October 2013 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The teachers at my rather prissy and genteel London girls’ primary school in the 1960s had an odd prejudice against the word. When any pupil used it in speech or writing we were rebuked, told it was a ‘meaningless’ word, and instructed to find a ‘better’ one, such as kind, friendly, delicious, pretty, comfortable, according to the context. That aways puzzled me. Granted, ‘nice’ in the usual modern sense is indeed a fairly vague term; but no more so than ‘agreeable’, which was one of the permitted substitutes. And I can’t recall any other vague word being pounced on in the same way.

Did anyone else encounter this prejudice at school, or anywhere else?

[ Edited: 30 October 2013 04:51 AM by Syntinen Laulu ]
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Posted: 30 October 2013 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I harbor no prejudice against nice per se, but when one of my students uses such a vague word in a paper I comment on it, telling them to be more descriptive and specific.

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Posted: 30 October 2013 05:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I find it a useful word to express “care taken to be precise”, where “precise” might sound a mite too rigidly technical: he timed his arrival nicely..... a nicely calculated insult

As a schoolboy, i had an art teacher who was hopelessly gentle. He used “nice” in a rather original way: if he looked at your work and murmured “mmm… very nice”, you knew it was absolutely the worst.

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Posted: 30 October 2013 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Did anyone else encounter this prejudice at school, or anywhere else?

Yes, in the junior (government) schools I attended in the north of England, the south of England and South Africa.  By the time we were in high school the word had been thoroughly drummed out of us.

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Posted: 30 October 2013 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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When someone is ranting on about some word not meaning what everyone uses it to mean I often comment, “That’s nice”, meaning that’s ignorant.

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Posted: 31 October 2013 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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ElizaD - 30 October 2013 11:30 AM

Yes, in the junior (government) schools I attended in the north of England, the south of England and South Africa.  By the time we were in high school the word had been thoroughly drummed out of us.

Me too. Different locations; same experience; same result!

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Posted: 31 October 2013 02:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Some teachers in West Orange, New Jersey public schools during the 1970’s were against students using “nice”.

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Posted: 31 October 2013 05:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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When living in London, I was once given the incorrect change for a purchase and when I called it to the cashier’s attention, she begrudgingly gave me the correct change and finished it off with “Have a nice day;” something no Londoner would say, except in parody of an American.

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Posted: 31 October 2013 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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The message about “nice” didn’t reach these guys - unless they’re rebelling.
Stereophonics lyrics for Have a Nice Day

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