silly and off-topic

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Thu Jun 13 14:18:34 UTC 2002

In a message dated Thu, 13 Jun 2002  9:32:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Lynne Murphy <lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK> writes:

>But as long as we're being silly and off-topic here, I read the following
>in _The Big Issue_ today about a pea-shooting contest in Cambridgeshire:
>"It's traditional Bash Street Kids, English schoolboy, turn your baseball
>cap backwards and fire kind of thing," said organiser Tom Wood.
>I didn't know traditional English schoolboys played baseball....

There is no implication that the English schoolboys play baseball, merely that they wear baseball caps, which leads to a serious question in non-verbal linguistics:

In England, what does a man or boy communicate by wearing a baseball cap?

In the English film "A Fish Named Wanda", there is one major character who is American, who is invariably shown wearing a baseball cap.  Is this an English stereotype of how Americans dress?  If so, was it a shorthand convention to inform an English audience that the character was American?

Also what is the significance of an English boy turning his baseball cap around?  (Girls cannot do this.  Their ponytails stick out through the gap between the cloth and the adjustment band.)

      - Jim Landau

P.S.  This being England, shouldn't that read "pease-shooting"?  As in "give pease a chance?"

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