Monday, July 04, 2011

'Posh People' - The Answers

Good day everyone. Here are the answers to the latest Six Minute English quiz. I didn't get many answers, but I expect a lot of people "lurked" and listened to the programme on the BBC. "Lurked"? We'll talk about this further down the page.

Here are the answers:

1. (Official): Which member of the pop group The Spice Girls was nicknamed Posh Spice? It was: c) Victoria Adams √

2. In the English class system, people are classified according to a number of social and financial factors.

3. ‘Posh people’ are supposed to belong to the upper class.

4. ‘Posh’ describes something that is stylish, elegant and expensive.

5. What is the origin of the word ‘posh’? It is an acronym derived from Port Outward, Starboard Homeward on the boats going between Britain and the Far East. "Mi spiego meglio" - let me explain.

In colonial times, business people, or Army and colonial service personnel and their families travelling between the UK and her colonial possessions in the East would travel by ship. The route went down the Atlantic coast of Europe, through the Mediterranean, into the Red Sea via the Suez Canal, into the Arabian Gulf and then across the Indian Ocean.

A ship sailing from west to east would be exposed to maximum sunlight on the side facing south, which would be the right-hand side. So the most comfortable, and therefore expensive cabins, not exposed to direct sunlight, would be on the left-hand side of the boat when going 'outward' from the UK to, say, India. The reverse would be the case on the 'homeward' east-west journey. And in nautical parlance, "port" means "left", while "starboard" means right.

I hope that's clearer.

6. The playwright Julian Fellowes says that ‘posh people’ need to be protected from persecution.

7. A ‘posh’ accent in English is also known as ‘The Queen’s English’. You heard an audioclip of the Queen speaking English during the programme.

8. What does the writer James Delingpole think ‘posh people’ need? Answer: A "level playing field". This means a situation in which all participants have an equal chance of success.

9. The writer Owen Jones thinks that the debate about ‘posh people’ is really about stopping discussion about the fact that politics and the media are unrepresentative of ordinary people .

A new Six Minute English quiz is coming up soon. Meanwhile, think about Your Ideal Trip. Where would you like to go? Who with? What would your priorities be?

Now listen to two people talking on the BBC about their ideal trip. Then give us your ideas. Post them in the Comments section after this post or, if your reply is short (up to 200 characters), post your ideas on the Tag Board.

Finally, I used the word "lurked" at the beginning of this post. "To lurk" means to be in a place without any apparent reason and with a furtive or suspicious manner, obviously not wanting to be noticed. On the Internet, a "lurker" is someone who visits an interactive web site, such as this one, without participating.

Now, I would like to persuade all the "lurkers" on this site to come in from the cold and leave their messages and comments on the Tag Board or in the Comments section. You will be made most welcome!

More soon!

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