To wonder how our quite clever shared knowledge will exist in the future without church, sayings, etc

(15 Posts)
Lanark2 Fri 01-Apr-16 19:55:09

This is something that puzzles me. Now if we make jokes about parables, or proverbs type statements, or sayings of 'wisdom' we sort of get the joke, as with historical or other references, and ideas about values and good and evil etc that make our literature and culture interesting

What freaks me is that as an adult, my reference frames have been refreshed and reminded, but not really added to, my workplace is massively anti intellectual etc etc.

With all the personalised, separated entertainment and info sources, it kind of mystifies me how we will understand each others jokes, or deeper musings iyswim...

EverySongbirdSays Fri 01-Apr-16 20:01:34

I think that happens now - I've had conversations about books or poems were people haven't understood references to the Bible that just comes automatically for me. Things like language have always evolved for example reading Chaucer or Beowulf is bloody hard now and hardly anyone knows Latin.

I think it's the way of the world OP nothing to be concerned about

corythatwas Fri 01-Apr-16 20:02:00

I find my reference frames constantly added to by conversations with my teenagers: a lot of their proverbial sayings may come from popular culture or Twitter, but they seem to fill very much the same function: shared material that helps to verbalise the absurdity of life.

corythatwas Fri 01-Apr-16 20:10:09

When I started editing medieval text I had to completely revise my view about which Classical authors constitute "the Classics". At some point in time, that shift must have happened: when was there no longer any point in quoting Dares Phrygius because people were reading Homer instead? (16th century, I suspect). And at the same time, quotations became more Bible-based and less Catholic-liturgy based. Still, conversation survived and will continue to survive.

silvermantela Fri 01-Apr-16 21:34:42

Yes, as pp's have said people have always, and will always allude to shared cultural experiences and values by making 'pop culture' references, it's just that what constitutes classics/culture changes over time. I'm thinking of Shakespeare as an example, which was originally aimed at all audiences, from the least literate individual in the cheapo standing stalls, to the royal family, and is littered with crudeness, fart jokes and 'your mum' gags. Yet today most people using a Shakespeare reference would be thought of as quite highbrow.

I do agree with your point about how the sheer volume of culture and entertainment now might make it harder for the majority of people to have the same shared references though, but some things will probably always be ubiquitous - e.g I've never seen Star Was or Trek but would immediately 'get' what somebody meant if they said a sentence out of order a la Yoda, or referred to 'boldly go where no man has gone before,' etc.

It seems to me that the cultural references that really have gone out of date in a short space of time are biblical ones - 50 years ago most people would have understood what references to Samson or Daniel in the lion's den would have meant, whereas now, although according to the census we are still ostensibly a Christian country, the huge fall in the population that goes to church regularly means that very few people under (I would estimate 30ish) would have the slightest clue.

Dotheskankyleg Fri 01-Apr-16 21:40:14

I am increasingly feeling silly any time such a situation occurs and I respond with, 'Et tu Brutus!' (SP?) And everyone stares blankly. I then explain it and they still dont get it. I schooled abroad and we all read Shakespeare, how come so many don't get it here?

BevyofQuails Fri 01-Apr-16 21:45:23

Luckily for you, OP, if you really wanted to, I'm sure you could use modern technology to find your own personalised, separated entertainment and information sources, where like minded souls will still laugh at your parable-based jokes. You'll still have to rub along with your low brow colleagues while you're at work though.

However, if all you want to do is shake your head and tut about youngsters these days then you'll be pleased to know you're partaking in an activity that has probably been going on since the dawn of time, and will almost certainly exist far into the future. How's that for tradition?

BevyofQuails Fri 01-Apr-16 21:46:13

Et tu Brute, I believe, Dothe.

Dotheskankyleg Fri 01-Apr-16 21:50:12

You are correct. I got the pronounciation right in my head, but writing it down as 'Brute' just looked wrong.

BestIsWest Fri 01-Apr-16 21:53:54

Teenage DS quoted Et Tu Brute at me this week and asked me several questions about Caesar etc so all is not lost Dothe

Dotheskankyleg Fri 01-Apr-16 21:58:12

You obviously have a very cool DS grin

SleepyForest Fri 01-Apr-16 22:08:08

I think that as long as you can quote Monty Python you should be ok.

Other generations will have their own references.

corythatwas Fri 01-Apr-16 22:32:31

Since "Beware the IDS of March" has been all over Twitter, I think a few of the old ones are still alive.

Fatmomma99 Sat 02-Apr-16 00:09:40

I think we all quote lines without knowing where they come from (usually Shakespeare or the bible!), but not knowing the source doesn't stop us knowing and using the quote.

HowBadIsThisPlease Sat 02-Apr-16 00:54:44

Of course it is Brute, the vocative, in Latin, but you are probably thinking of "et tu Brutus? Then fall Caesar" which is the Shakespeare line in the play.

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