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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #1

    Jiminy Cricket and Christopher Columbus

    Hi, teachers:

    I newly watched the Pixar animation UP. Has anyone else seen it? And I was wondering what did they mean when they said "Jiminy Cricket" in the movie??

    I know the famous cartoon character Jiminy Cricket but I don't think he's the one they were refering to. In this movie , in the beginning scenes, an old-time newscaster was broadcasting about an famous adventurer. And when talking about his amazing adventures, he kept saying"Jiminy Cricket". It sounds like an exclamation of amazement to me.

    And that also reminded me of the line I heard from the 1949 movie Little Women. In that movie, Jo kept saying "Christopher Columbus" when something amazed her. And I remember one of her sisters resplying "Don't say slang, Jo. Be graceful".

    So if I'm not mistaken, "Christopher Columbus" is a slang? If it is, is it an old-time slang in the South of America??

    And did/do Americans (or all English countries) have the habit of saying names of famous characters to express their feelings??

    Hope this is not too stupid a question. ^_^

    Bird
    Last edited by VividJailbird; 30-Nov-2009 at 17:42. Reason: revise

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #2

    Re: Jiminy Cricket and Christopher Columbus

    It's not stupid at all!

    While the exclamation "Jesus!" is used by some, others find it offensive (sacrilegious). "Jesus Christ!" is even worse. So many others things have developed with the same initials. I say "Jeez!" quite often and "Jeezum Crow!" when I'm really perplexed. So, Jiminy Cricket is just another way to take what would possibly be offensive (and inappropriate for a child to say) and make it okay.

    I've never actually heard anyone say that OR "Christopher Columbus!" but people will be creative at times. My favorite ever was "Oh, for the love of Santa and all his reindeer!" Much less likely offend than using the lord's name inappropriately.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 126
    #3

    Re: Jiminy Cricket and Christopher Columbus

    Thanks, Barb. That explains a lot. I'v heard about English speakers using variants of "Jesus Christ" as exclamations before. Strange enough no teachers in China ever talked about this issue. Looks like native English speakers take it for granted and non-native speakers totally ignore the problem.

    What perplexes me most is, in China, newscasters rarely say informal words when broadcasting something. It would have confused me less if the "Jiminy Cricket" exclamation had shown up in other context, like, chitchating with close friends over a cup of tea.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • American English
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      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #4

    Re: Jiminy Cricket and Christopher Columbus

    I would be very surprised to have a modern-day, non-fictional newscaster use an exclamation of any type.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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