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Showing posts from January, 2012


When I was growing up on the north side of Dublin, simplicity meant something other than my current understanding of the word.  If someone described you as 'simple' it meant that they thought you were stupid.  You were then perfectly entitled to sort them out.  That usually meant give them an earful of abuse. Something along the lines of 'hey you, who the f*** do you think you are?  I'll give you simple.....' or words to that effect.  If they were lucky.  More aggressive types might get physical. This could involve a trip to the hospital.

When I was in my early twenties, I secured employment in an office run by Indian people.  Indian people, I was intrigued to note, used the word 'simple' as a compliment.  Now if any of my colleagues wanted to compliment someone, they might say something like 'she is a very simple girl,' in a most approving tone.  Simple in this context meant humble, gentle and obedient.  I didn't get that compliment very often.…