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Cocksure lad Options
Tomahawk71
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 5:40:54 AM

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Location: İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Hi all,
What does the part in red mean to us? It makes no sense to me.
There is no one in the book ("A Murder of Quality") who rides a motorbike.
As for the pencils in the pocket, there is this sentence. "If it is vulgar to wear a pen in the breast pocket of your jacket, to favour Fair Isle pullovers and brown ties, to bob a little and turn your feet out as you walk, then Rode beyond a shadow of doubt was vulgar, for though he did not now commit these sins, his manner implied them all."

THE MAIN QUOTE:

'I've a kettle on the stove, Mr Smiley. May I make you a cup of coffee?' That little stiff voice with the corners carefully defined, like a hired morning suit, thought Smiley.
Stanley Rode returned a few minutes later with a tray and measured their coffee in precise quantities, according to their taste.
Smiley found himself continually irritated by Rode's social assumptions, and his constant struggle to conceal his origin. You could tell at the time, from every word and gesture, what he was; from the angle of his elbow as he drank his coffee, from the swift, expert pluck at the knee of his trouser leg as he sat down.
'I wonder,' Smiley began, 'whether perhaps I might now…'
'Go ahead, Mr Smiley.'
'We are, of course, largely interested in Mrs Rode's association with… our Church.'
'Quite.'
'You were married at Branxome, I believe.'
'Branxome Hill Tabernacle; fine church.' D'Arcy wouldn't have liked the way he said that; cocksure lad on a motor-bike. Pencils in the outside pocket.
'When was that?'
'September, fifty-one.'
'Did Mrs Rode engage in charitable work in Branxome? I know she was very active here.'
'No, not at Branxome, but a lot here. She had to look after her father at Branxome, you see. It was refugee relief she was keen on here. That didn't get going much until late 1956—the Hungarians began it, and then this last year…'

***


Is it an idiom or something?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 9:52:41 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
No idea I'm afraid.

It makes no sense to me.
"Cocksure" is a known word, as you know.

I've no idea how that fits in with a motorbike of having pencils in your pocket.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 10:26:43 AM
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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
I think possibly it has to do with snobbery on Smileys part, he views Rhodes as being vulgar too sure of himself, the type of person who would ride a motorcycle.

He views Rhodes as being lower status than him as he is the type of person who would do such things, even if he he did not actually have a motorcycle.

Engineers back then often used to wear pencils in little metal clips that went into a top pocket on a jacket or shirt to make notes with, make cutting marks etc. To a certain kind of British Gentleman born in the early 20th century doing such work for yourself is a sign of vulgarity, Smiley would pay a tradesperson to do the work for him

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
hedy mmm
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 10:32:20 AM

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Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
Tomahawk wrote:
...cocksure lad on a motor-bike. Pencils in the outside pocket.


I'm going to take a stab at the meaning. The word 'cocksure' is an adjective which means cocky, someone who is presumptuous and arrogant and in a bold way...which, in this case, the description of the 'pencils in the outside pocket' would mean Stanly Rode was so confident that even on a motorbike he will not fall or be injured and thus stabbed, (pencils, sharpened, in an outside pocket can be quite hazardous especially lead ones!), and he's also a lad, so sure of himself...overconfident is assumed, that is why he rambled on.
The sentence could be considered an idiom or an expression.

Of course to me, the word always seemed to be in reference to a male!! (Did I say that out loud?)
We, women, don't even run with open scissors!!

This is my opinion...any takers?


"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
FounDit
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 11:21:49 AM

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My take on it is close to Sarrriesfan's I think.
We are told that, "Smiley found himself continually irritated by Rode's social assumptions, and his constant struggle to conceal his origin."

This conveys to me the idea that he sees Rode as an inferior in class, yet trying to appear upper-class — from the way he drank his coffee to the trouser pluck at the knee. But Smiley sees him as vulgar, especially when he speaks of where he got married, 'Branxome Hill Tabernacle; fine church.'

Smiley then thinks that D'Arcy wouldn't have liked the attitude with which he said that; that she would see through him as the vulgar person such as a "cocksure lad on a motor-bike. Pencils in the outside pocket." type of person.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 1:38:52 PM

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An excellent analysis by hedy.

No hedy, you just whispered.

But hedy ma'm whisper me the meaning of
"We, women, don't even run with open scissors!"

Be kind enough.Shhh

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 1:55:55 PM

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https://youtu.be/FkCDuoJuEdshttps://youtu.be/FkCDuoJuEds

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
hedy mmm
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 5:44:44 PM

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Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
Ashwin Joshi wrote:
An excellent analysis by hedy.

No hedy, you just whispered.

But hedy ma'm whisper me the meaning of
"We, women, don't even run with open scissors!"


The expression, "We, women, don't even run with open scissors!", could be described as a metaphor...a word (or phrase) applied to an action to which it is not literally applicable. Its synonyms would be an image, a comparison, even something abstract.

My gender is not quick to jump into something dangerous or reckless (like running with open scissors)...which can cause severe injury, or create a no-win situation, or live on the edge. guess because we think with both sides of the brain. (This may sound like a blatant sexist remark, oh well!)

And thank you for the accolade Ashwin Joshi and I guess you heard my whisper...
The song by Tyler Lewis is awesome, the lyrics are beautiful, so idyllic... I almost wish it were so.

thank you again for sharing.

hedy



"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
NKM
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 5:56:11 PM

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Ashwin Joshi wrote:

But hedy ma'm whisper me the meaning of
"We, women, don't even run with open scissors!"

══════════════════════════════════════════════

I'm not Hedy, but I can easily explain what she meant.

Children are often warned "Don't ever run with scissors!"
The idea is that children sometimes fall when they run, and falling while carrying something sharp can cause significant injury.

(Another, closely related, admonition to children is "Don't run with a lollipop in your mouth!")

But of course her real (though tongue-in-cheek) meaning is simply that women are far less likely than men to engage in risky behavior.



EDIT — Cross-posted with Hedy. Perfect timing!

Sarrriesfan
Posted: Saturday, July 08, 2017 4:51:47 AM
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Joined: 3/30/2016
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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
FounDit wrote:
My take on it is close to Sarrriesfan's I think.
We are told that, "Smiley found himself continually irritated by Rode's social assumptions, and his constant struggle to conceal his origin."

This conveys to me the idea that he sees Rode as an inferior in class, yet trying to appear upper-class — from the way he drank his coffee to the trouser pluck at the knee. But Smiley sees him as vulgar, especially when he speaks of where he got married, 'Branxome Hill Tabernacle; fine church.'

Smiley then thinks that D'Arcy wouldn't have liked the attitude with which he said that; that she would see through him as the vulgar person such as a "cocksure lad on a motor-bike. Pencils in the outside pocket." type of person.


Foundit just one small point D'Arcy here refers to a man with the surname D'Arcy, I know that in America Darcy is quite common as a female first name but that's not the case here.

A Francophone surname can also indicate a high status amongst some English people, in the same way that some Americans claim heritage that goes back to the Founding Fathers on the Mayfair. After the Norman Conquest Knights were granted lands in the country and became the new aristocracy, although there have been other influxes of French names such as the Huguenots there are still families that claim heritage that far back.

I don't think Hedy is correct in her idea, it's a good one but I think that for Smiley and D'Arcy class, status and vulgarity are far more important than safety.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, July 08, 2017 12:14:20 PM

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You are right, Sarrriesfan. I should have caught that. The apostrophe and the capital "A" should have been a clue, but I didn't catch it.

A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Eoin Riedy
Posted: Sunday, July 09, 2017 11:00:33 PM

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Joined: 8/28/2016
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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
hedy mmm, regarding cocksure, wrote:
Of course to me, the word always seemed to be in reference to a male!!

If Papa Rooster ate six ounces of grain and Baby Rooster ate two ounces of grain, how much grain did Mama Rooster eat?

Sarrriesfan wrote:
A Francophone surname can also indicate a high status amongst some English people, in the same way that some Americans claim heritage that goes back to the Founding Fathers on the Mayfair.

I believe you are thinking of the Mayflower, the ship used by English Separatists on their voyage to Colony of Virginia (they ended up at Cape Cod instead).
Founding Fathers refers to the leaders of the American Revolution, a century and a half later.

hedy mmm wrote:
We, women, don't even run with open scissors!!

Have you read Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs?
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, July 10, 2017 4:39:46 AM
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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
Eoin Riedy wrote:
hedy mmm, regarding cocksure, wrote:
Of course to me, the word always seemed to be in reference to a male!!

If Papa Rooster ate six ounces of grain and Baby Rooster ate two ounces of grain, how much grain did Mama Rooster eat?

Sarrriesfan wrote:
A Francophone surname can also indicate a high status amongst some English people, in the same way that some Americans claim heritage that goes back to the Founding Fathers on the Mayfair.

I believe you are thinking of the Mayflower, the ship used by English Separatists on their voyage to Colony of Virginia (they ended up at Cape Cod instead).
Founding Fathers refers to the leaders of the American Revolution, a century and a half later.


You are right, it's your history not mine.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
NKM
Posted: Monday, July 10, 2017 10:02:00 AM

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Joined: 2/14/2015
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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Americans are notoriously bad spellers, and there is a (relatively recent) tendency to create strange names. I have seen "D'Arcy" used as a given name, and internal capitalization (MaryAnn, LouAnn, AnnaMae, JackiLyn) is not particularly unusual. And some folks freely add apostrophes and/or hyphens, apparently in order to make their children's names "distinctive".

A cousin of my late ex-wife was named "Gulietta" (pronounced "goo-Lie-ta"); presumably her parents thought "Giulietta" was a pretty name but misspelled it on the birth certificate.

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