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Chattering Class

Leicester City overkill

Yes we get it, it's lovely. But can we talk about something else now?

Online petitions

Please sign our online petition to have them banned

Zootopia

The new Frozen

Artisan marshmallows

Unconvincing

The word “artisan”

Overused

Discussing sourdough recipes

You buy it? Might as well wear a Burberry baseball cap

Getting the right shade of fake tan

“Just enough to stop my legs looking like something I dug up”

Travelling off-peak on rural branchline trains

Lovely

Pointless gadgets made by start-ups

Usually no better than Innovations catalogue stuff

Latest Comments
The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    Wednesday
    May112016

    Chattering class: this month's ups and downs

    Leicester City overkill

    Yes we get it, it's lovely. But can we talk about something else now?

    Online petitions

    Please sign our online petition to have them banned

    Zootopia

    The new Frozen

    Artisan marshmallows

    Unconvincing

    The word “artisan”

    Overused

    Discussing sourdough recipes

    You buy it? Might as well wear a Burberry baseball cap

    Getting the right shade of fake tan

    “Just enough to stop my legs looking like something I dug up”

    Travelling off-peak on rural branchline trains

    Lovely

    Pointless gadgets made by start-ups

    Usually no better than Innovations catalogue stuff

    Friday
    Apr292016

    Is the junior doctors dispute the middle-class miners strike?

    There's no doubt that the middle-classes are mostly behind the junior doctors, and one reason is that we recognise the work-politics.

    Clearly the doctors have an idiot, bulls***ing boss trying to “restructure” in ways that won't work, but will make everyone worse off. Who hasn't been there? It's a defining aspect of working life, so the idea of someone taking a stand is immensely appealing.

    Increasingly it feels like a symbolic stand against injustice we can all rally round; it has all the hallmarks of the 1984-5 miners strike, with fewer tricky arguments about economics.

    However, compared with the 80s miners, the middle classes are still getting the hang of this militancy business, and so in a very supportive way, we'd like like to make the following suggestions.

    1. Shrink the badges
      Call us superficial, but MCs like their badges small and tasteful, not saucer-size. Make them too big and they'll be put somewhere discreet, not on the chest where they need to be
    2. Get a slogan
      Remember Coal Not Dole? That was a memorable, assertive rallying cry. “I support the Junior Doctors” is very clear, of course, but not really something to bring folk to the barricades
    3. Be horrible about Jeremy Hunt more often
      It helps to have an enemy, and we all hate him because he reminds us of the worst boss we ever had. Sod not wanting to get into personalities, and get cracking on the effigies
    4. Be more concise
      The JDs are so good at explaining patiently and reasonably that their message can get lost. Be angry! We won't mind! In fact we'll really like it! Especially if there's also a good badge.
    Monday
    Apr252016

    Sob-mobs: how much social media grieving is too much?

    I would like to make a confession.

    This year the strangely high number of deaths of well-loved famous people has meant that our social media timelines have often been full of people expressing their remorse, and telling stories about how they once met the deceased, and they were wonderful. It's like a new public grieving ritual. And sometimes I just feel like I don't get it.

    Personally I can't understand how people feel such personal emotion about someone they didn't really know. And I also don't understand why, even if they do feel that way, they need to say so publicly.

    If I'm really honest, I think some people join in the sob-mobs on Facebook and Twitter because it becomes a Thing To Do. And if I'm really, really honest, I think in some cases it becomes a sort of showing off, especially when people go on about themselves more than the person.

    I honestly don't know if I'm alone in this, or if other people feel the same, but don't like to say. Or maybe I'm just a bad person, I dunno.

    Leeds Lucy

    Wednesday
    Mar022016

    Three ways to save face after an autocorrect typo

    Bloody autocorrect. Foiling your attempts to seem funny and interesting by littering your tweets and Facebook posts with embarrassing errors. We've all been there, and we've all wondered, heart pounding, what to do to fix the error. To our mind, there are three ways you could go:

    1. Dive in with a follow-up post which at once drips with exaggerated embarrassment and pre-empts any correction from smug followers, making very clear you know your stuff and do not care to be corrected, thank you very much. “Argh! Posted before I was ready. Yarg, not yard, obviously!”
    2. Delete hastily and re-post a version without the typo, as though nothing ever happened. Or, if technology allows, such as on Facebook, edit the post. You'll need to be prepared to swallow your pride about the fact that it will display as 'Edited'. In many ways that's just drawing attention to your error. You might actually come off better if you do nothing, hence this third option:
    3. Rise above it. Just let it be. And if anyone picks you up on the error, ignore them or go down the pro-creative expression route, pretending you think social media is no place for pedantry. You'll be cringing and hating yourself, obviously, but you'll have an air of a person who likes the idea of having nothing to prove. And that's about as good as an MC can strive for.
    Wednesday
    Feb102016

    Workplace offenders: the excessively theatrical sneezer

    A guy I once worked with had the loudest sneeze I had ever heard. It was a proper, full-body, unrestrained, loud and distinctive ach-oo, and every time he did it – two or three times a day, I'd say (people sneeze a hell of a lot in offices, don't they?) – it brought an aftermath of awkwardness. There would be some offended frowning (me) and some embarrassed laughter (also me), and a flurry of comments from his surrounding colleagues: 'Wow, that was a bigun', 'blimey, that was quite something', 'that deserves a round of applause'. 

    I felt so outraged by these comments because a loud, theatrical sneeze should not be celebrated. It is bad manners. It's nonsense that humans have no control about the way they sneeze. The discreet, embarrassed 'pneu' sound I make when I sneeze in public ('like Tinkerbell from a distance', one colleague told me), compared to the normal, more relaxed 'kknn-chh' I do at home is evidence that a sneeze can be adapted to suit one's environment. It's just some people have gone through their lives doing a particularly distinctive sneeze and have come to almost forget that what is actually happening is an expulsion of air and mucus and therefore it should probably be reined in when you are in public.

    So, I'm sorry if you've grown up being told that your sneeze is characterful and delightful and you think of it as part of who you are; it's not OK to let rip at work. And, those of you who encourage this behaviour with comments like 'I really felt you put your full weight behind that one' (yes, someone actually said this), you need to zip it too.