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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    Old Etonian

    Boris Johnson capped a cataclysmic day for Labour by seizing power in London last night, and left Gordon Brown facing a desperate fight for survival.

    The Old Etonian handed David Cameron a stunning political triumph by ousting veteran mayor Ken Livingstone.
    Mr Johnson won with 1,168,738 first and second preference votes, compared with Mr Livingstone's 1,028,966 on a record turnout.
    Hi,

    What is the author's implication for " Old Etonian" here? I knew Etonian refers to a student from Eton. And I just learned Eton is the chief nurse of England's statesmen from Wikipedia. I had thought in Britain most chief British statesmen /stateswomen graduated from Cambridge Uni. or Oxford Uni . Am I wrong?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 03-May-2008 at 10:48. Reason: Typo

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Old Etonian

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hi,

    What is the author's implication for " Old Etonian" here? I knew Etonian refers to a student from Eton. And I just learned Eton is the chief nurse of England's statesmen from Wikipedia. I had thought in Britain most chief British statesmen /stateswomen graduated from Cambridge Uni. or Oxford Uni . Am I wrong?

    Thanks in advance!
    Eton is a very exclusive (and expensive) school in England. An "Old Etonian" is someone who was a pupil in that school. Most pupils would go on to Oxford or Cambridge universities after completing their secondary education at Eton.

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Old Etonian

    Hi Bhaisahab,

    Thanks for your answer. So Are most Brits proud of being a student of Eton?

    Why did the author not mention Boris graduated from a specific University but a secondary school?

    If you or anyone else knew, please kindly tell me. Thanks again!
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 03-May-2008 at 11:32.


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    #4

    Re: Old Etonian

    Most Etonians are indeed proud of their school, which has had a reputation for excellence over the past 400 years.

    Because so many of the intake come from particular social or economic groups, a belief that attending the school indicates an exclusive and isolationist status has developed. So non-Etonians feel excluded and tend to use it as a means to denigrate someone. You will not find similar references to old Harrovians, old Rugbeians, or old Cheltenham Ladies College.

    It is a form of inverted snobbery.

    As to the university, as there are tens of thousands of graduating students annually, it is less exclusive than a school from which a couple of hundreds matriculate each year, so is not so contentious.

    If you would like to know more about the school, this is their website: Eton College

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Old Etonian

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hi Bhaisahab,

    Thanks for your answer. So Are most Brits proud of being a student of Eton?

    Why did the author not mention Boris graduated from a specific University but a secondary school?

    If you or anyone else knew, please kindly tell me. Thanks again!
    Hi thedaffodils,

    Yes, I would say that most ex pupils of Eton would be proud of having been there.

    If the author had said that Boris was a graduate of Oxford or Cambridge it would not have the same 'cachet', many people from relatively normal backgrounds go to those universities whereas only the very rich and influential can go to Eton.


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    #6

    Re: Old Etonian

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Hi thedaffodils,

    Yes, I would say that most ex pupils of Eton would be proud of having been there.

    If the author had said that Boris was a graduate of Oxford or Cambridge it would not have the same 'cachet', many people from relatively normal backgrounds go to those universities whereas only the very rich and influential can go to Eton.
    Sorry - not true. Many quite ordinary families send their boys to the school.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Old Etonian

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hi Bhaisahab,

    Thanks for your answer. So Are most Brits proud of being a student of Eton?

    Why did the author not mention Boris graduated from a specific University but a secondary school?

    If you or anyone else knew, please kindly tell me. Thanks again!
    Your use of the term 'student' is possibly confusing; they are schoolboys (and maybe a few girls in the last two years - I don't know, but it's possible). Of course, they have their own language in those schools, so they may say "student" - I doubt it though. And even at less posh schools the teachers sometimes call their charges 'students' when they want them to behave more maturely: 'That's not the sort of behaviour I expect from one of my students'.

    As for being proud of it, it rather depends on your point of view. Going to Eton is very expensive, and the waiting list is of legendary length - some people are 'put down for Eton' on the day they're born. On the other hand, some people are ashamed of that sort of privileged background (if they had it, and of those who didn't have it some are envious of it, some are contemptuous of it, some don't care either way...). Whether or not they went there, some think it's irrelevant to modern politics.

    People often say it of Boris Johnson ('Old Etonian') to emphasize his privileged background. I believe he did go to either Oxford or Cambridge, but the point is that he came from the sort of family that would call that 'the University', and assume from the moment he was born that he would go there after Eton.

    b

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Old Etonian

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Sorry - not true. Many quite ordinary families send their boys to the school.
    At 8,830 per term, 26,490 per year, not including extras such as music, I would say that one needs to be fairly rich.


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    #9

    Re: Old Etonian

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    At 8,830 per term, 26,490 per year, not including extras such as music, I would say that one needs to be fairly rich.
    There are scholarships, bursaries and assisted places. Also, very many people are prepared to go without luxuries in order that the school is paid for [ and this applies to many other schools as well, from primary level onwards].

    Wealth is not essential.

    The cost of the school is actually less than some others, and considerably less than the cost of putting a child into a school for special needs.

  7. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Old Etonian

    Hi Anglika, Bhaisahab and Bobk

    You are helpful! Thanks a lot!

    PS. I would like to read your comments carefully. If I have any questions, please help me out at your convenience.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 03-May-2008 at 12:36.

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