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Thread: What is salon?

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    #1

    What is salon?

    Dear all,

    This is an exerpt from an article in New York Times.

    MUSIC is not tangible. You can’t eat it, drink it or mate with it. It doesn’t protect against the rain, wind or cold. It doesn’t vanquish predators or mend broken bones. And yet humans have always prized music — or well beyond prized, loved it. In the modern age we spend great sums of money to attend concerts, download music files, play instruments and listen to our favorite artists whether we’re in a subway or salon. But even in Paleolithic times, people invested significant time and effort to create...

    In the context above, what does "salon" mean? Is it a beauty salon, or a sitting room in a mansion?

    OP

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    #2

    Re: What is salon?

    What is the source of the quoted text?

    The phrase "download music files" tells us it's recent, and "subway" suggests it's North American. Therefore I understand "salon" to mean beauty parlor​ (ladies' hairdresser).
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: What is salon?

    Yes, a salon is a high class room. It's a contrast to a subway - a low, common place. This is a common trope, often alliterative.
    "You can afford to listen to music whether you're a prince or a pauper."
    "Everyone must obey the law whether they're a judge or a janitor."

    Crosspost with GS. I think it's more a figurative usage.
    Last edited by Raymott; 05-May-2017 at 14:54. Reason: typo

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    #4

    Re: What is salon?

    I see it as a literal reference. People listen to music in the subway and in the beauty salon, among many other places.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: What is salon?

    Yes that's true; and judges and janitors can break the law, and princes and paupers can listen to music. That doesn't make it any less a linguistic trope, or the terms any less metaphoric. It refers to a range of places or people - from near one end to the other; perhaps in that sense it's metonymic.

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    #6

    Re: What is salon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, a salon is a high class room. It's a contrast to a subway - a low, common place.
    Quite. I took the word as OLD-FASHIONED a room in a large house used for receiving and entertaining guests.
    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/d.../salon#salon_9



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    #7

    Re: What is salon?

    I see it with a literal meaning. "Salon" here means a hair salon (which by the way also serves gentlemen). In the US, salons often play some type of background music while you are waiting for your turn. Quite frankly, if you want you can see it as a contrast to a subway (which is extremely crowded but also a cheap way to commute).

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    #8

    Re: What is salon?

    The Times wrote this article in 2013.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/opinion/sunday/why-music-makes-our-brain-sing.html

    This passage will shed light on the matter:

    "In the modern age we spend great sums of money to attend concerts, download music files, play instruments and listen to our favorite artists whether we’re in a subway or salon. But even in Paleolithic times, people invested significant time and effort to create music, as the
    discovery of flutes carved from animal bones would suggest."

    It is quite clear: the authors refer to the modern age when they talk about listening to music in a salon and then contrast it with Paleolithic times. Unless salons are still defined as "high class rooms" in 2013, I don't think it is likely at all for it to assume any other meaning.

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    #9
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #10

    Re: What is salon?

    Perhaps in Europe, "salon culture" is still relevant but even though I can't be completely sure, this article is more likely written for American audience. Most Americans, I don't believe, really understand or appreciate "salon culture". It is just not that popular in the US. So for an average American, "salon" will mean a hair salon and no more.

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