Linguistic Geekery

Ultracrepidarianism and Mansplaining

Yesterday, during the weekly Prime Ministers’ Question Time, Theresa May accused Jeremy Corbyn of ‘mansplaining’ to her about International Womens’ Day.
I think it’s a good way to illustrate a bugbear of mine – the loose interpretation of the word ‘mansplaining’.

There isn’t, as far as I can see, anything in Jeremy Corbyn’s question that’s patronising, or that implied that May didn’t know that it was #IWD2018. Corbyn merely mentioned the fact in order to highlight a moral flaw in Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. Mansplaining, in its clearest form, is a confident but unqualified man asserting his opinions to a more qualified woman.

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Sturgeon v May – Who’s Sexier?

The Daily Mail has set social media buzzing today with a front page that compares the legs of the UK’s Prime Minister and Scotland’s First Minister. But there’s been less coverage of the superficial, transparently biased, and oddly sexualised article that accompanied the headline.

I decided to exclusively uncover an early draft of the article.

One was relaxed, every inch a stateswoman while her opposite number was tense and uncomfortable: we don’t know how headlines work

By Mrs Michael Gove

Legend – or rather Hollywood – has it that the Scottish knight William Wallace daubed himself head-to-toe in blue woad paint to defeat the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. Centuries later, Nicola Sturgeon has gone one step further. Yes, further! Whereas Wallace took the time to paint his entire body, Sturgeon wore a blue dress, the silly mare.

While Sturgeon has worn a dress that is dark blue with white trim, May worse a blue jacket. The difference is obvious.

Intentional or otherwise, the First Minister’s nutty blue suit with white piping and matching light-coloured stilettos were unmistakably reminiscent of the Scottish flag, a subliminal if not entirely subtle indication of her feelings towards Westminster.

The Prime Minister’s gorgeous blue jacket was more reminiscent of the blue parts of the Union Jack. Her union-jacket, if you will.

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