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    #1

    BrE - meaning of dirty

    In Turingís school reports, the word "dirty" is used several times. What is the meaning here? Certainly they don't mean literally, filthy? Is there a BrE specific meaning? (BTW, what does "HOUSE REPORT" mean with respect to school reports?) Of course I can guess at all these answers, but I'm hoping to hear from a BrE speaker.
    HOUSE REPORT Slightly less dirty & untidy in his habits: & rather more conscious of a duty to mend his ways.
    Set II MATHEMATICS
    No. 18
    A very good termís work, but his style is dreadful and his paper always dirty.
    Set II MATHEMATICS
    No. 22
    Not very good. He spends a good deal of time apparently in investigations in advanced mathematics to the neglect of his elementary work. A sound ground work is essential in any subject. His work is dirty.


    HOUSE REPORT
    Slightly less dirty & untidy in his habits: & rather more conscious of a duty to mend his ways.

    Set II MATHEMATICS
    No. 18
    A very good termís work, but his style is dreadful and his paper always dirty.

    Set II MATHEMATICS
    No. 22
    Not very good. He spends a good deal of time apparently in investigations in advanced mathematics to the neglect of his elementary work. A sound ground work is essential in any subject. His work is dirty.

  1. Tullia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: BrE - meaning of dirty

    Sherbourne was a boarding school; in schools like that the children often live in "houses". These may be separate buildings or just areas of the main building where they have dormitories, perhaps studies, and a common room. (Think Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Griffindor etc. in Harry Potter). These houses would have responsibility for his pastoral care, so that section is reporting on that. I would say in this section dirty does indeed have the literal meaning, given that it's tied to "untidy".

    I was a little more surprised to see the word used in the academic sections, but I still think it's the literal meaning, maybe referring to ink smudges or marks from mugs of tea or the like.

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    #3

    Re: BrE - meaning of dirty

    Thanks for your reply. I was convinced I had found another BrE nuance re: dirty. And re: HOUSE REPORT, as soon as you said "Slytherin", I got it

  2. Tullia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: BrE - meaning of dirty

    Quote Originally Posted by BobSmith View Post
    Thanks for your reply. I was convinced I had found another BrE nuance re: dirty. And re: HOUSE REPORT, as soon as you said "Slytherin", I got it
    You're welcome.

    I should point out that even non-boarding schools may have "houses" - my primary school certainly did. We were Kipling, Milne, Barry and Stevenson. We could be awarded house points for good behaviour, and of course we competed in houses on Sports Day too. I was in Kipling, which was the green house, and yes the others were red, blue and yellow just as in HP. It all seems rather old-fashioned now, but it was a big part of my primary school life and I was always disappointed my (rather posher, actually) secondary school didn't have a house system.

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    #5

    Re: BrE - meaning of dirty

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    You're welcome.

    I should point out that even non-boarding schools may have "houses" - my primary school certainly did. We were Kipling, Milne, Barry and Stevenson. We could be awarded house points for good behaviour, and of course we competed in houses on Sports Day too. I was in Kipling, which was the green house, and yes the others were red, blue and yellow just as in HP. It all seems rather old-fashioned now, but it was a big part of my primary school life and I was always disappointed my (rather posher, actually) secondary school didn't have a house system.
    Same here. In my junior school we had four houses: Grantham (green), Rugby (red), Florence (blue) and Edburton (yellow) - named after the four streets which surrounded the school. I was in Grantham (which I was annoyed about because I lived in Edburton Avenue!) and we too were awarded house points for all sorts of things - good behaviour, picking up litter, doing well in spelling and maths tests, being top of the class at the end of each term, reading things out at assembly, volunteering for choir, orchestra, drama etc.

    We didn't compete against each other at Sports Day though. Sports Day was an entirely individual affair - I still remember my sense of pride at winning the skipping (the type with a rope, not just with your feet!) race when I was 10!

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    #6

    Re: BrE - meaning of dirty

    I presume he was a messy geek and didn't spend much time on presentation.

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    #7

    Re: BrE - meaning of dirty

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Thank you, Mr. Smith, for the link. Reading Mr. Turing's school reports was most moving -- especially in light of the tragic

    circumstances related to his poignant premature death.

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