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Balderdash And Piffle


ChrisN
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I taped it and managed to watch the first half last night. It seemed decent enough, although I'm surprised they didn't get Stephen Fry involved – it seems like the perfect kind of show for him to be fronting. Also, I get a sudden urge to smash my TV to pieces whenever Adam Hart-Davies comes on. Still, it's nice to see something like this on. Parts of what I saw were genuinely interesting, which is more than I can say for the majority of shows on terrestrial channels at the moment.

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And Victoria Coren is quite attractive in an 'intelligent crumpet' sort of a way.

She was meant to be intelligent?

Anyway, I was really looking forward to this, but it seemed incredibly dumbed down to me. You don't need to do an actual loop-the-loop in a plane to explain a (likely wrong) theory of where "all gone pear-shaped" comes from. Likewise actually doing some ploughing for a ploughman's lunch.

And those meetings with the board were preposterous, it was treated like the fucking Apprentice or something. It was patently obvious what evidence would be accepted and what wouldn't. The drawn out "tension" was a joke.

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Yeah I was looking forward to this but it wasn't great, was it.

What did the OED panel say about the 1950s film with the 'pear-shaped' quote? I heard what they said about the balloon and plane loops theory, but missed what they said about the film.

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She was meant to be intelligent?

Anyway, I was really looking forward to this, but it seemed incredibly dumbed down to me. You don't need to do an actual loop-the-loop in a plane to explain a (likely wrong) theory of where "all gone pear-shaped" comes from.

Plus the pear-shape they drew was clearly not the path the plane would have flown - it had bits where the plane was pulling down.

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Oxford graduate, writes for the Observer, daughter of Alan Coren .. she's not completely dim.

She did a good job of hiding it in this programme. In her defence, I can only believe the producers asked her to act like a dizzy blonde.

Plus .. semi-professional poker player!

I kept wondering where I had heard he voice before. I assumed it was Radio 4, but now I think it's from commentating on one of those crappy midnight poker programmes (which I find curiously watchable) on Five or Bravo.

I find her voice very agreeable, and her face is pleasant, she just needs to find a programme which doesn't require her to present like a dunce.

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What did the OED panel say about the 1950s film with the 'pear-shaped' quote? I heard what they said about the balloon and plane loops theory, but missed what they said about the film.

Sorry to bump, but I wondered if anyone knows the answer to the above question? My UKnova quota is bad enough as it is without me having to download a whole episode for a 30 second clip!

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They said:

"That is interesting, but they're using it a different context there of 'playing it pear shaped', which seems to mean doing things right, so, umm, we're basically just going to ignore it, and not talk about the interesting fact that it used to mean something else, or what, in fact, that meaning was"

(I may be paraphrasing a little there)

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They said:

"That is interesting, but they're using it a different context there of 'playing it pear shaped', which seems to mean doing things right, so, umm, we're basically just going to ignore it, and not talk about the interesting fact that it used to mean something else, or what, in fact, that meaning was"

(I may be paraphrasing a little there)

They were clearly using it in a totally different fashion, and there's no evidence linking its use in that film to its use today. The OED were right to reject it.

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They were clearly using it in a totally different fashion, and there's no evidence linking its use in that film to its use today. The OED were right to reject it.

I don't deny they were using it in a totally different fashion, I just found it rather interesting that it was used, so clearly - in a manner suggesting it was a commonly understood phrase, to mean something completely different. I was also disappointed that they, and the show, didn't consider this worth looking at at all.

Also, trying to get a better understanding of its other meaning could have helped lead to where/when/why it got its current one.

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It could have been good but the choice of words led to some very boring segments trying to find the history of said words, the section looking at 'pig' slang is a particularly tedious example. Hopefully it'll pick up in the next episode.

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