Talk

Advanced search

To think 'U' and 'Non-U' are defunct concepts in 2015?

(56 Posts)
StrawberryTeaLeaf Tue 20-Oct-15 09:23:40

I'm as partial to a bit of Nancy Mitford as the next woman but I'm a bit taken aback to read references to U/non U twice in one week. Apparently quite seriously.

Do many people still think in these terms?

MajesticWhine Tue 20-Oct-15 09:25:14

referenced where? is this a TAAT?

Bloomsberry Tue 20-Oct-15 09:27:42

Yes, referenced where? I think social class is as much of a live issue as ever, but the shibboleths and class markers that are its symptoms have changed significantly since scent/perfume, mirror/glass etc.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Tue 20-Oct-15 09:27:48

A TAAT? Heaven forbid.

One of the references was on MN, admittedly. So maybe partially inspired. smile

Dawndonnaagain Tue 20-Oct-15 09:29:43

Unfortunately, yes, they are still very much around, and yes, people judge.

MajesticWhine Tue 20-Oct-15 09:30:09

I am vaguely aware of the concept of non-u, my mother probably used the term 30 or more years ago. It's just silly and antiquated. So YANBU.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Tue 20-Oct-15 09:30:26

It was the terminology 'non U' that surprised me Bloom; I'd never be surprised by attempts to indicate social class grin

StrawberryTeaLeaf Tue 20-Oct-15 09:32:03

I probably meant 'defunct terms' didn't I?

It just sounds so archaic.

toomuchtooold Tue 20-Oct-15 09:34:31

One of the threads is that ironing one, isn't it? I commented on there - I find the terms abhorrent. One of my friends at uni tried to explain it all to me - that people who consider themselves U aren't trying to distinguish themselves from people like me (genuine proletariat, mum was a dinner lady dad was a storeman, grew up in a council estate) but the lower middle classes, who of course in their turn are trying with their pardons and their serviettes to distinguish themselves from people like me. The layers of internalised self hatred are so complicated, only people born and raised in Britain can ever understand it. And even then, who can be bothered?

Siwi Tue 20-Oct-15 09:36:59

I think that Pamela has a different father.

dodobookends Tue 20-Oct-15 09:38:55

Please can someone remind me what the 'U' stands for, as my memory isn't what it used to be.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Tue 20-Oct-15 09:40:26

Exactly too. I thought we'd relaxed into something with fewer layers and pernickity rules by now.

The casual use of pre war terminology is evocative of all that isn't progressive.

I think I'm just a bit startled.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Tue 20-Oct-15 09:47:20

It stands for 'upper-class', dodo.

Grapejuicerocks Tue 20-Oct-15 11:38:12

Not being U enough, I've never even heard of that.

WorraLiberty Tue 20-Oct-15 11:43:11

Meh! This is the internet.

I'll assume anyone using that terminology is a tuppence looking down on a ha'penny anyway.

reni2 Tue 20-Oct-15 11:52:24

I think angsty posts about using 'pardon', 'what' or 'sorry', what to call the bog and how to wear your clothes are probably non-U. The term is archaic and a little bit silly.

CherylTunt Tue 20-Oct-15 11:55:56

YANBU. It does crop up on here every now and again. I am usually so relaxed I'm practically dead, but threads about class signifiers make me come over all Red Army and start muttering about revolutions and walls. I mean, God, it's just so stupid. People start piling in with comments about how they would just die if their DC said "pardon", or how really truly posh people would never do this, or say that. So utterly twattish and senseless.

We are all just collections of thoughts walking around in meat suits for 70 odd years on a rock hurtling through space. It literally could not matter any less what collection of sounds we use to express a thought. How ludicrous that one group of meatsacks should think itself superior to another because of the words they use or the clothes they wear.

TL;DR. People are silly and "class" is nothing.

Dumdedumdedum Tue 20-Oct-15 11:56:09

Surely, "U" and "non-U" replaced by "posh twats" and "chav twats"? At least on MN? www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/2490969-We-need-to-talk-about-Posh-Twats?

ChipsandGuac Tue 20-Oct-15 12:04:02

I never realized how much class angst goes on in the UK until I came on MN. It's absolutely ludicrous. If anyone said, "Such and such or so and so is Non U" in rl, I would think they were stark raving bonkers and deeply insecure. Then I'd feel a bit sorry for them and pat them patronisingly on the head.

EdithWeston Tue 20-Oct-15 12:09:30

Wasn't it a tongue-in-cheek piece that inspired the term anyhow?

But yes, pretty much everywhere has a class system and insiders can recognise it, outsiders not so much. For example, people might say that US doesn't have a class system, and I suppose it's true that basic possession of cash leads to greater mobility than it tends to do in Europe. But I should imagine most Americans have no difficulty whatsoever is differentiating between a Bostonian whose ancestors came over in the Mayflower and someone raised in a trailer park, even if the former has lost all their money and the latter has come into wealth.

twelfstripe Tue 20-Oct-15 12:26:38

What do these terms mean?

I have never heard them used.

wasonthelist Tue 20-Oct-15 12:29:47

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_and_non-U_English

twelfstripe Tue 20-Oct-15 12:35:42

Thank you was

I guess I'm too young to have heard of this.

I thought you were referring to film classifications at first (universal)

icanteven Tue 20-Oct-15 12:50:43

I though I had it nailed before I moved to the UK (from reading Nancy Mitford of course) but the many layers of UTTER CRAZY in this country about class are mindboggling.

People really can only tell if you're "naice" or not by whether you say sofa or couch? That's the ONLY TIP-OFF?

LaurieMarlow Tue 20-Oct-15 13:15:14

The whole concept was always ridiculous, twatty and about sneery one upmanship. And nothing has changed.

However, I don't think it's correct to say its defunct, because it still forms part of some people's internal judgement system.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now