Have you noticed how often this can happen? Something that just came up, either for the first time or after a long break, suddenly comes up again. There must be a term for this effect, but I don’t know what it is. Can anyone enlighten me? And is it really what it seems or is it just that these things happen all the time but only occasionally are we surprised by them?

We watched the film: Brief Encounter. It’s dated and in black and white, but we enjoyed it. Afterwards, we discussed the things that have changed since those days – money (units and amounts), steam trains, attitudes and the way the characters spoke. Did they really speak like that in those days? The answer, gleaned from other old recordings we’ve heard (as well as our memories), was a resounding Yes! We even remembered the term for such speech: received pronunciation.

briefencounter

The very next day, I saw that term again in this post by Jean Davison. The post, by the way, was written four years ago, but Jean has been thinking about its content recently, and I agree with its message.

Then I listened to The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4. The latest episode contains jokes about long delays on the UK’s Southern Rail. The panel speculated about how films might be different if Southern Rail were involved. Round the World in Eighty Days could be a race between someone going all the way round the world and someone traveling from Brighton to London. The Railway Children would be The Railway Middle-Aged People. And Brief Encounter? Well, they’d give up trying to get back to their families and stay together. If I hadn’t watched the film, I wouldn’t have understood that joke.

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I’m about to do something for the first time. Probably the last time, too. And because of that, this blog will be quiet for a while. Bye for now!

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