Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Grablevskij's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 217
    #1

    When I was a girl, Inspector, nobody ever mentioned the word stomach.

    This is from Greenshaw's Folly by Agatha Christie:

    "I believe, madam, they are doing a season of James Barrie's plays."
    "Barrie," said Miss Marple thoughtfully.
    "What Every Woman Knows," said Inspector Welch, and then blushed. "Name of a play," he said quickly. "I'm not much of a theatre-goer myself," he added, "but the wife went along and saw it last week. Quite well done, she said it was."
    "Barrie wrote some very charming plays," said Miss Marple, "though I must say that when I went with an old friend of mine, General Easterly, to see Barrie's Little Mary-" she shook her head sadly, "—neither of us knew where to look."
    The inspector, unacquainted with the play Little Mary looked completely fogged. Miss Marple explained:
    "When I was a girl, Inspector, nobody ever mentioned the word stomach."
    The inspector looked even more at sea. Miss Marple was murmuring titles under her breath.
    "The Admirable Crichton. Very clever. Mary Rose-a charming play. I cried, I remember. Quality Street I didn't care for so much. Then there was A Kiss for Cinderella. Oh, of course."
    Inspector Welch had no time to waste on theatrical discussion. He returned to the matter in hand.
    "The question is," he said, "did Alfred Pollock know that the old lady had made a will in his favour? Did she tell him?" He added:
    "You see—
    there's an archery club over at Boreham Lovell and Alfred
    Pollock's a member.
    He's a very good shot indeed with a bow and arrow."



    Could you explain me what the matter is. I'm just like the inspector don't know what to think. Why stomach?

    Michael

  2. #2

    Re: When I was a girl, Inspector, nobody ever mentioned the word stomach.

    In Barrie's play, it transpired that Little Mary was in fact 'the stomach'. The conceit was that one could change one's life by what one ate.

    This is a strange theme for a play and we can imagine that some people, especially sensitive people like Miss Marple, were shocked by this literary device.

    Once members of the audience learnt that Little Mary was 'the stomach', they hardly knew where to look. In other words, they felt awkward.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #3

    Re: When I was a girl, Inspector, nobody ever mentioned the word stomach.

    I think that Miss Marple was from a very gentle era, when polite people did not reference any part of their body in public at all. You did not refer to your leg, or your hip, or your stomach.

    I don't think the literary device was so shocking as the fact that people were talking about body parts at all.

    I haven't done the math, but I believe Miss Marple would have grown up in the late Victorian era, when people put skirts on the legs of their pianos so no one would see a "leg" -- even a wooden one.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: When I was a girl, Inspector, nobody ever mentioned the word stomach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I haven't done the math, but I believe Miss Marple would have grown up in the late Victorian era, when people put skirts on the legs of their pianos so no one would see a "leg" -- even a wooden one.
    Myth!

    Furniture was covered so that it did not fade in the sun. Pianos were expensive items and made of expensive materials.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #5

    Re: When I was a girl, Inspector, nobody ever mentioned the word stomach.

    Darn, really? I love that myth!


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #6

    Re: When I was a girl, Inspector, nobody ever mentioned the word stomach.

    Sad, isn't it? I've often wondered who started it.

Similar Threads

  1. The meaning with no word . . .
    By ScaryEders in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-May-2009, 07:15
  2. The Pronunciation Rules and The Writing System
    By M.Mozaffary in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-Mar-2009, 23:27
  3. Vocabulary
    By huda23 in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-Aug-2008, 22:38
  4. word or the word?
    By joham in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-Dec-2007, 08:24
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 31-Aug-2007, 17:38

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •