Saturday, 29 October 2016

26 March 1881 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

PETITE (Addiscombe) - 1. Blue blood has no reference to venous as contrasted with arterial blood. It is only by a figure of speech we say that persons of high rank have "blue blood in their veins." "Of gentle blood" is a phrase used by Shakespeare, and long familiar. Blue blood is of more recent use. It is probably taken from the Spanish "Sang azul," when the old Castilian families disclaimed any taint of Moorish or other connections. 2. Aesthetic signifies that which belongs to good taste. Like many other words of modern introduction, it is often used in a burlesque or ironical way. As tastes proverbially differ, so does the application of the term "aesthetic." There is much affectation about "culture" and "high art" in our time, and those who talk most about such things are often very deficient in good taste and common sense. 3. We wish all our correspondents wrote as clearly and as briefly.

ZULU - Corned beef in tins, if of a good brand, from some respectable firm, is made from the best meat, and is often more wholesome than fresh beef, if that is not of first quality. Sometimes, but rarely, a tin is bad from imperfect exclusion of air in closing, and it is well always to make the retail dealer open the tin when for immediate use. Poor people and servants are usually prejudiced against anything cheap.

GOODY TWO SHOES - The tinted paper makes your letter almost illegible. Sensible people prefer white paper. The medical questions can only be answered by a doctor, after examination. If the lungs are diseased the treatment would be different from what an attack of pleurisy would require. Removal from the sea would not necessarily be beneficial. It may be colder and bleaker inland than on the coast, as of the Isle of Wight or Devonshire, for instance. 

BRENDA RONALDSON - The Editor thanks you heartily for your kind gift of a box of beautiful snowdrops.

THREE BLIND MICE - We advise you not to use the remedy advertised, but to trust to diet and exercise.  For the etiquette of visiting, see our first volume. A hedgehog is not a suitable pet, especially if on duty as a policeman against the black beetles.

ILL-USED GIRL - We hardly believe that any lady would shut up a child in a dark room all day without food as a punishment. You ought to be glad to be sent to post letters and to do other little services, instead of showing temper on such occasions.

MARY - You wish us not to repeat your questions, which makes it difficult to give an explanation. Your whole sentence is incorrect, and does not keep up throughout "correspondence in time;" "You were naughty when you broke," &c., would be correct. "Do not disappoint me after having promised," &c., is also correct. Study the various tenses of the regular and irregular verbs; and be careful not to write half the sentence in one tense and the remainder in another.

THREE FRIENDS - We prefer Amy's writing. Alice promises well, but her hand is not quite formed. That of Gertrude is cramped. She should practise making graceful flourishes so as to arrive at a more free and flowing style.

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