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  1. #1
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Question An article about Xmas from Dail Mail

    Hello! Could someone please tell me what an article in the Daily Mail talks about at his/her convenience? It is about Christmas. Though I think I have understood most of the sentences, I don't really get the gist. Here's the URL link.

    We’ve already been flogged America’s Hallowe’en, so now comes a desperate plea: Don’t let them steal our Christmas! | Mail Online

    Anyway, I'd like to take a stab at it first. I think he refers to the muliticulture in LA, the US has wore away the hilarious tradition of Chrismas as he listed, and he, as a Briton who is living in LA, hopes his motherland - the UK still keeps the tradition to celebrate it. Don't let American stlye affect Britons.

    And I have some questions about the article:

    #1
    We’ve already been flogged America’s Hallowe’en, so now comes a desperate plea: Don’t let them steal our Christmas!
    What does the title of the article mean, especially the part I hightlight in red? Isn't Halloween one of British traditional holidays?


    #2
    For years, Chinese factories have mass-produced costumes and gimmicks for the vast American market.

    Now they are flooding the UK with the same cheap tat.
    Perhaps, then, I should not have been surprised when, earlier this year, I saw Thanksgiving recipes in British magazines.
    What does the author mean about China-made products here? I understand each sentence, but I don't know why he mentioned this here.

    #3
    If you would like to see Christmas in America, you must get out of LA and come to the south or midwest. We haven't succumbed to political correctness and we still keep Christmas.
    Quote 3 is a reader's comment. What's political correctness?

    Many thanks!
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 15-Dec-2008 at 23:48.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: An article about Xmas from Dail Mail

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hello! Could someone please tell me what an article in the Daily Mail talks about at his/her convenience? It is about Christmas. Though I think I have understood most of the sentences, I don't really get the gist. Here's the URL link.

    We’ve already been flogged America’s Hallowe’en, so now comes a desperate plea: Don’t let them steal our Christmas! | Mail Online

    Anyway, I'd like to take a stab at it first. I think he refers to the muliticulture in LA, the US has wore away the hilarious tradition of Chrismas as he listed, and he, as a Briton who is living in LA, hopes his motherland - the UK still keeps the tradition to celebrate it. Don't let American stlye affect Britons. I think you have understood his intention - he's a bit late. It's happened already. Cranberry sauce is now standard and sweet potatoes are rapidly taking hold.


    And I have some questions about the article:

    #1

    What does the title of the article mean, especially the part I hightlight in red? Isn't Halloween one of British traditional holidays?

    It is part of the religious calender, being the day before All Saints Day, and being the day on which the dead were remembered. It has never been a holiday though there have long been traditional customs attached to it.
    #2


    What does the author mean about China-made products here? I understand each sentence, but I don't know why he mentioned this here.

    Most of the inexpensive Halloween costumes etc sold in the US were made in China. Sadly, much of the poor quality items sold in cheaper outlets comes from China, so the reputation of Chinese goods is not that high.


    #3

    Quote 3 is a reader's comment. What's political correctness? The origin and nature of political correctness.

    Unfortunately, it is also an imposition of formulaic terms and behaviour which stifles individuality and encourages a closed mind.

    Many thanks!
    ..

  3. #3
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: An article about Xmas from Dail Mail

    Hello Anglika,

    I appreiciate you took time to read the article for me and answered the questions of mine.

    I think I still have some questions about these, but I have something to do now. Just wanted to say 'thanks' to you first.

    Have a good one!
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 16-Dec-2008 at 15:59. Reason: solecism

  4. #4
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Default Re: An article about Xmas from Dail Mail

    This gentleman is upset that Britain is beginning to succumb to commercialism and celebrate holidays that used to be uniquely American. For example, in the US, Hallowe'en is quite a big holiday. We don't get the day off from work like we do on Christmas, but both adults and children love to dress up in costumes and go to parties for the occasion. And it's traditional for children to "trick or treat" - they dress in a costume and go door-to-door collecting candy from houses. A lot of people really go crazy, decororating their house and yard with all sorts of spooky things (fake headstones, spider webs, skeletons, etc) for Hallowe'en. I've known people who go as over the top as Roseanne and her family.

    Anyway, apparently some of these American Hallowe'en traditions are making their way over the Atlantic, and this writer is unhappy about it. Mustn't let those uncouth Colonists corrupt traditional British society, you know.

    What does the author mean about China-made products here? I understand each sentence, but I don't know why he mentioned this here.
    Particularly in recent years, there have been some products made in China (because labor costs are cheaper there) imported to the US which proved to be dangerous. For example, children's toys painted with paint that contained lead, and pet food that had some sort of bacteria in it that was killing people's dogs. On the other hand, because the labor is so cheap in China, more and more companies are outsourcing their manufacturing to that country, causing a lot of US factories to close. So a lot of folks cast a skeptical eye at anything made in China.

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: An article about Xmas from Dail Mail

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    This gentleman is upset that Britain is beginning to succumb to commercialism and celebrate holidays that used to be uniquely American. ... this writer is unhappy about it. Mustn't let those uncouth Colonists corrupt traditional British society, you know.
    ...
    People who think like that do tend to read the Daily Mail (so it's a vicious circle: owners of DM want to sell more papers -> editors favour articles like this -> more readers of this sort of thing are attracted -> pressure for even more extreme Jingoism...). What can I say?..

    b

  6. #6
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: An article about Xmas from Daily Mail

    Hi Ouisch,

    Thank you very much for your help too.

    After reading the article time and again, I am clearer about the writer's intention.

    I have other questions as below about this article. Could either you or Anglika give me a hand again?

    No wonder my British friends leave the city at this time of year. Many go home, the rest go somewhere colder and more Christmassy such as New York or Boston, while back in LA many of my friends use Christmas Day as a chance to catch up on movie-watching.
    Why did the writer say New York and Bostom are more Christmassy? I own up that I have little idea about the locations of most American cities, and what I am familar with are just only their names. Were New York and Boston the two places among the former earliest 13 colonised states so they keep the Christmas tradition better?


    A Jewish friend of mine blames the lack of Christmas spirit in this town on the fact that LA, more than anywhere else, is in thrall to the cult of political correctness.
    ‘It’s all gone mad,’ he said. ‘I’ve been invited to something called Hanukkah-mass this year. It’s ridiculous. You have to remember that White Christmas, one of the songs that embodies the holiday, was written by Irving Berlin, who was Jewish. Back in my parents’ day there was no problem with celebrating Christmas in LA. Now it’s been ruined for everyone.’
    Is it offensive for some people in the US to have a Christmas day so some Americans tend to say 'Happy Holiday' rather than 'Merry Christmas' for the concern of so-called political correctness? The writer said he hasn't heard from any message with 'Merry Christmas'.



    Cranberry sauce is now standard and sweet potatoes are rapidly taking hold.
    I am not familar with these food. Are they US brands?

    *
    *
    Many thanks!

  7. #7
    I'm With Stupid's Avatar
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    Default Re: An article about Xmas from Daily Mail

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Why did the writer say New York and Bostom are more Christmassy? I own up that I have little idea about the locations of most American cities, and what I am familar with are just only their names. Were New York and Boston the two places among the former earliest 13 colonised states so they keep the Christmas tradition better?
    It usually snows in Boston and New York. Los Angeles is sunny all year round. I think that's what he's getting at.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Is it offensive for some people in the US to have a Christmas day so some Americans tend to say 'Happy Holiday' rather than 'Merry Christmas' for the concern of so-called political correctness? The writer said he hasn't heard from any message with 'Merry Christmas'.
    "Political correctness" is the idea that you avoid saying certain things so that you don't offend certain groups of people, or because it makes assumptions about certain groups of people. So you don't say "policemen" when referring to police officers, because it ignores all of the women who are police officers. Similarly, the writer believes that people or organisations now avoid saying "Merry Christmas" or holding Christmas celebrations because it assumes that everyone is Christian. "Happy Holidays" originates from the fact that there are a large number of different holidays in America around this time of year (thanksgiving, Christmas, new year, hannukah, etc). Some people (such as this writer) claim that it is an attempt to diminish Christmas and promote minority interests and festivals instead. You can make your own mind up on that, but personally, I would take anything written in the Daily Mail with a pinch of salt in terms of it being an accurate or proportional reflection of the views of people in the UK.

    Most of my Christmas cards say, "Merry Christmas," "Happy Christmas" or "Season's Greetings." The Daily Mail ran a similar story last year about how no Christmas cards mention Christmas any more. I counted mine, and well over half of them had the word Christmas in them. British tabloids are not beyond exaggerating things, or simply making them up because they fit their political point of view, and most people I know wouldn't take anything they say seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    am not familar with these food. Are they US brands?
    No, cranberry sauce is just the sauce from cranberries. Sweet potatoes are a type of vegetable, which aren't really very similar to normal potatoes in taste at all. Neither are particularly American, although I'm guessing that Americans eat them at Christmas. It's ironic that the writer complains about this, when all of Britain has eaten turkey like Americans at Christmas for decades rather than the more traditional goose.

  8. #8
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Default Re: An article about Xmas from Daily Mail

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hi Ouisch,


    Why did the writer say New York and Bostom are more Christmassy? I own up that I have little idea about the locations of most American cities, and what I am familar with are just only their names. Were New York and Boston the two places among the former earliest 13 colonised states so they keep the Christmas tradition better?
    Boston has a large Irish Catholic population, so Christmas is celebrated there in all its traditional finery - decorated trees, colored lights strung about, Nativity scenes, etc. Likewise New York, despite its diverse religious population is still famous for its elaborately decorated Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Back in 1862, Macy's department store in New York was the first retail establishment to have an in-store Santa Claus during the holiday season. So certain older cities have a long-established Christmas tradition. Interestingly enough, my hometown of Detroit has been the subject of lawsuits and such due to the burgeoning Arab population (Metro Detroit has the largest Arab-American population in the US)...many of the suburbs that have a large amount of Arabic immigrants have filed complaints with the American Civil Liberties Union regarding Christmas decorations on city properties (such as City Hall or the public library). Because they are Muslim they find such displays offensive, and have petitioned to have them removed. This is one example of the aforementioned "political correctness."


    Is it offensive for some people in the US to have a Christmas day so some Americans tend to say 'Happy Holiday' rather than 'Merry Christmas' for the concern of so-called political correctness? The writer said he hasn't heard from any message with 'Merry Christmas'.
    Again, it's a matter of "political correctness." Over the years, non-Christians have declared that the phrase "Merry Christmas" is offensive, so in order to extend neutral greetings of the season to everyone, no matter what their religious beliefs, it has become a tradition in the US to say "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings."

    Cranberry sauce is now standard and sweet potatoes are rapidly taking hold.
    I am not familar with these food. Are they US brands?
    They are not American "brands," per se, but they are traditional accompaniments to American Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. No holiday table would be complete without cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes as side dishes.

  9. #9
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Default Re: An article about Xmas from Dail Mail

    Hi all,

    Thank you very much for taking time to reply.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 17-Dec-2008 at 08:30.

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