Home Main Category Clubhouse

Garry James

BigKBigK New MemberLas Vegas, Nevada USAPosts: 17 New Member
Hi everyone. This is my first post. Has anyone else noticed that in G&A magazine, when describing antique firearms, Garry James invariably makes the statement “Furniture was of brass.” This is very strange sentence construction. One would never say “The revolver was of steel” or “My shoes were of leather.” I have long been a student of James’ work. It’s the first thing I read in every issue. But this quirky usage of the English language must cease. Sometimes I lie awake all night thinking about it.
<-><-><-><->
Regards,
BigK
«1

Replies

  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Near St. LouisPosts: 3,395 Senior Member
    It's only odd to people who didn't learn their English from the English.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • BigKBigK New Member Las Vegas, Nevada USAPosts: 17 New Member
    Well, I don't know about that. I grew up in England. Or at least I lived there from age 12 to age 17.
    <-><-><-><->
    Regards,
    BigK
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Corvallis, OregonPosts: 3,947 Senior Member
    Aloha and welcome to the forum. Personally, I find brass furniture very uncomfortable. On my posterior especially.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • shushshush Senior Member This Sceptical Isle.Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    BigK wrote: »
    Well, I don't know about that. I grew up in England. Or at least I lived there from age 12 to age 17.

    You lived here for 5yrs but the twist and turns of the language keep you awake.:yikes:

    On what part of;

    This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
    This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-paradise,
    This fortress built by Nature for herself
    Against infection and the hand of war,
    This happy breed of men, this little world,
    This precious stone set in the silver sea,
    Which serves it in the office of a wall
    Or as a moat defensive to a house,
    Against the envy of less happier lands,--
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

    did you abide?:tooth:
  • shushshush Senior Member This Sceptical Isle.Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Personally, I find brass furniture very uncomfortable. On my posterior especially.


    Which Brass would that be?

    eg;
    Lets get down to brass tacks.

    Or;

    brass [brɑːs]
    n
    1. (Engineering / Metallurgy) an alloy of copper and zinc containing more than 50 per cent of copper. Alpha brass (containing less than 35 per cent of zinc) is used for most engineering materials requiring forging, pressing, etc. Alpha-beta brass (35-45 per cent zinc) is used for hot working and extrusion. Beta brass (45-50 per cent zinc) is used for castings. Small amounts of other metals, such as lead or tin, may be added Compare bronze [1]
    2. an object, ornament, or utensil made of brass
    3. (Music / Instruments)
    a. the large family of wind instruments including the trumpet, trombone, French horn, etc., each consisting of a brass tube blown directly by means of a cup- or funnel-shaped mouthpiece
    b. (sometimes functioning as plural) instruments of this family forming a section in an orchestra
    c. (as modifier) a brass ensemble
    4. (Engineering / Mechanical Engineering) a renewable sleeve or bored semicylindrical shell made of brass or bronze, used as a liner for a bearing
    5. (Military) (functioning as plural) Informal important or high-ranking officials, esp military officers the top brass See also brass hat
    6. Northern English dialect money where there's muck, there's brass!
    7. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) Brit an engraved brass memorial tablet or plaque, set in the wall or floor of a church
    8. Informal bold self-confidence; cheek; nerve he had the brass to ask for more time
    9. (Business / Professions) Slang a prostitute
    10. (modifier) of, consisting of, or relating to brass or brass instruments a brass ornament a brass band Related adjective brazen
    [Old English bræs; related to Old Frisian bres copper, Middle Low German bras metal]

    No. 9:devil:
  • BigKBigK New Member Las Vegas, Nevada USAPosts: 17 New Member
    Home was Kingston-upon-Thames. We often went to New Malden to shop and that's where I caught the train to Waterloo daily. This was the beginning of a lifelong obsession with all things English. I own a couple of Lee Enfield rifles (No. 4 MkI Maltby and No. 1 MkIII Ishapore). I have great respect for the English and their fine country. Living there was a great experience.
    <-><-><-><->
    Regards,
    BigK
  • BigKBigK New Member Las Vegas, Nevada USAPosts: 17 New Member
    No. 9 might be referred to as a "slapper" in England.
    <-><-><-><->
    Regards,
    BigK
  • shushshush Senior Member This Sceptical Isle.Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    BigK wrote: »
    Home was Kingston-upon-Thames.


    That explains it, makes you a soft southerner.:roll2::tooth:
    BigK wrote: »
    No. 9 might be referred to as a "slapper" in England.

    A 'slapper' does not charge, do not ask me how I know this.:nono:
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Uh, shush....

    I ain't got no real good ability wif English being as I growed up up thar in the Mountains whar English is talked like it was 200 years ago, but let me ask you'ns this:

    When you'ns says "Twist and Turns", if you'ns have one of these words in the singular, and the other in the plural sence, should they not both be the same? Either singular or plural? Just wonderin'.....
  • BigKBigK New Member Las Vegas, Nevada USAPosts: 17 New Member
    I have great respect for all Brits, including the Scots, having met and befriended many of them during my years in pipe and drum bands. My ancestors were Scots-Irish; borderers, according to family legend.
    <-><-><-><->
    Regards,
    BigK
  • shushshush Senior Member This Sceptical Isle.Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Uh, shush....

    Sorry about that mate, I only had the one ''s '' left in the scrabble box.:p



    Just wonderin'.....

    Hey none of that lark, you lot started ' Just wonderin' ' about the Tea Act and look what that got you, nothing but trouble.:wink::jester:
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
  • NNNN Senior Member NCPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
    Welcome aboard.

    I hope you came here to join in and not just to pick apart our Host Magazine.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned HoustonPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Well, BigK, the phrase "furniture was of brass" is what's called an affectation, deliberate use of an archaic or obsolete term or phrase for effect.

    I'd expect him to say at least "furniture was brass", omitting the "of" (that added word gives the phrase its odd cant).

    What I don't know is use of the term "furniture" in this content, whether it's normally a term used for antique firearms? Why not say "fittings" instead?

    Regarding paens to the Mother Tongue, don't forget what Churchill said about the US and England: "Two great nations separated by a common language."

    As a writer and also someone who writes book reviews, I am constantly exposed to the nuances of British vs American preferred English. Some are easy to spot, like "whilst" for Brits vs "while" for Yanks. Some are more subtle, like "towards" (Brit) vs "toward" (US).

    I wouldn't lie awake nights worrying, however. ha ha
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member The Giant Side Of TexasPosts: 1,303 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Well, BigK, the phrase "furniture was of brass" is what's called an affectation, deliberate use of an archaic or obsolete term or phrase for effect.

    I'd expect him to say at least "furniture was brass", omitting the "of" (that added word gives the phrase its odd cant).

    What I don't know is use of the term "furniture" in this content, whether it's normally a term used for antique firearms? Why not say "fittings" instead?

    Regarding paens to the Mother Tongue, don't forget what Churchill said about the US and England: "Two great nations separated by a common language."

    As a writer and also someone who writes book reviews, I am constantly exposed to the nuances of British vs American preferred English. Some are easy to spot, like "whilst" for Brits vs "while" for Yanks. Some are more subtle, like "towards" (Brit) vs "toward" (US).

    I wouldn't lie awake nights worrying, however. ha ha

    :popcorn:

    Ah Mr Sam,
    I was looking forward to your entrance into this discussion.

    MR K, welcome aboard.

    Either of you, no grading of my postings, please. :tooth:
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Sam,
    The term "brass furniture" is commonly used in reference to patch boxes, buttplates, thimbles, side plates etc in the muzzleloading community. How far back it goes in usage, I don't know, but I suspect probably all the way to the late 1700's.
  • BigKBigK New Member Las Vegas, Nevada USAPosts: 17 New Member
    NN, no offense intended. I was just having a bit of fun at the expense of my favorite gun writer. I actually like Garry James' work and share his interest in old military weapons. They're like antiques, precision made machines from a bygone age when long-range marksmanship (i.e. beyond 50 yards) was accepted military doctrine.

    That said, I may have to call him out every time he uses the "furniture was of brass" phrase.

    Peace,
    Big K
    <-><-><-><->
    Regards,
    BigK
  • NNNN Senior Member NCPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
    So your not a :troll: then?

    Ever been in a Spartacus style prison?
  • samzheresamzhere Banned HoustonPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Sam,
    The term "brass furniture" is commonly used in reference to patch boxes, buttplates, thimbles, side plates etc in the muzzleloading community. How far back it goes in usage, I don't know, but I suspect probably all the way to the late 1700's.

    Thanks, woods, I was unsure on that one. So the term so used in that context is similar to "findings" (and actually means accessories).

    It's then the use of the word "of" that seems to riing offkey, which particular phrasing might have been okay a century ago, but today, would be labeled an anachronism or a "conceit".

    Which would get my brain rattling, as BigK says it does him. On a similar note, last year I reviewed a British mystery, set in the modern era (2011) in which all the men call one another "Old Chap" (I've known many Brits and have never heard that used once, ever, for real). But the book's narrative was definitely stuck in the 30s. And the author kept finishing paragraphs with the tired phrase "...as was his wont." Which, after reading maybe the sixth time, set my back teeth to chattering.

    So, yeah, BigK, some writers get stuck in a particular phrase and it soon becomes tedious, as is their wont.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member A true 'Southerner'. NZPosts: 8,401 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Thanks, woods, I was unsure on that one. So the term so used in that context is similar to "findings" (and actually means accessories).

    It's then the use of the word "of" that seems to riing offkey, which particular phrasing might have been okay a century ago, but today, would be labeled an anachronism or a "conceit".

    Which would get my brain rattling, as BigK says it does him. On a similar note, last year I reviewed a British mystery, set in the modern era (2011) in which all the men call one another "Old Chap" (I've known many Brits and have never heard that used once, ever, for real). But the book's narrative was definitely stuck in the 30s. And the author kept finishing paragraphs with the tired phrase "...as was his wont." Which, after reading maybe the sixth time, set my back teeth to chattering.

    So, yeah, BigK, some writers get stuck in a particular phrase and it soon becomes tedious, as is their wont.


    :yikes: :nono:..........spelling Sam......or did you mean to 'double tap' the 'i' key to give it emphasis.............. :wink:
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • shushshush Senior Member This Sceptical Isle.Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    ....... call one another "Old Chap" (I've known many Brits and have never heard that used once, ever, for real).


    I have also known many Brits and I have heard it used quite a bit ' for real ' when one is talking about an ' old chap '.
    In my time I have also been addressed;
    old fool,
    old git,
    old bloke,
    old sod,
    old tramp,
    old drunk [ not in a long, long time ]
    old deaf lugs,
    old dipstick,
    old fart,
    old donkey [ stubborn only in my case. ]
    you plank [ not old, just you plank ]
    I must admit predominantly by my beloved over the years, as was her wont.:tooth:

    Had a mate, who was a nice old chap, is wife called him ' old rabbit '.
    Never did get to the bottom of that one.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned HoustonPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    :yikes: :nono:..........spelling Sam......or did you mean to 'double tap' the 'i' key to give it emphasis.............. :wink:

    Got a shaky keyboard, the anti-doubletap delay on the "i" key is funky. I'm forever needed to review my stuff and now I do a Word search for "ii" to replace with "i" till I get the gumption to have a new keyboard installed.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned HoustonPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
    shush wrote: »
    I have also known many Brits and I have heard it used quite a bit ' for real ' when one is talking about an ' old chap '.
    ... etc

    I assume you're talking about their using the "old chap" in a regular conversation and not making it within the context of a deliberately stylized phrase? Okay, not something I've ever heard, but thanks for the info.

    As for other epithets, "wanker" is a solid fallback, and I've heard "old sod" often. Our "token" Brit of the last few years is often referred to as "our own pommy" to which he corrects us, "you mean 'bloody' pommy -- get it right"
  • shushshush Senior Member This Sceptical Isle.Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    .... Our "token" Brit of the last few years is often referred to as "our own pommy" to which he corrects us, "you mean 'bloody' pommy -- get it right"

    By 'your token Brit '. you mean an expat residing in The US of A?
    I cannot, for the life of me, fathom where the 'pommy' comes in, sorry.:uhm:
  • Garry JamesGarry James New Member Posts: 16 New Member
    BigK wrote: »
    NN, no offense intended. I was just having a bit of fun at the expense of my favorite gun writer. I actually like Garry James' work and share his interest in old military weapons. They're like antiques, precision made machines from a bygone age when long-range marksmanship (i.e. beyond 50 yards) was accepted military doctrine.

    That said, I may have to call him out every time he uses the "furniture was of brass" phrase.

    Peace,
    Big K


    Well, at least you're reading my stuff, and if that's the worst thing that you can say about it, I figure I'm getting off lightly. I've been accused by some, with justification, of having my feet planted firmly in the 18th and 19th centuries, and being a reader of Shakespeare, Swift, Dickens, Wells, Conan Doyle, Kipling, Rider Haggard, etc., I just naturally slip into the vernacular from time-to-time--especially when I'm writing about some archaic firearm --which, I guess is pretty often. Lived in the UK for awhile, too, so that probably didn't help matters much. After a few Pimm's I have even been accused by friends of starting to talk in the manner of (could have said "like' but had to keep up my image) some character from a George Eliot or Thackery novel. I'm afraid you'll just have to indulge me, as at 70 years old, there's little chance I'm going to change too much.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    I rather like the phrasing Mr. James.

    You'll have to forgive Sam. You're a spring chicken compared to him. He's 117 years old.
  • shushshush Senior Member This Sceptical Isle.Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    After a few Pimm's I have even been accused by friends of starting to talk in the manner of (could have said "like' but had to keep up my image) some character from a George Eliot or Thackery novel.

    There's me man.:up:

    Lived in the UK for awhile, too, so that probably didn't help matters much.

    You were growing on me there but that is a bit close to the quick.:tooth:
  • Garry JamesGarry James New Member Posts: 16 New Member
    You are so right. I should have said: "I lived in the UK for awhile so I expect that partially accounts for my elegant, elevated command of Old World phraseology."
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    Welcome back Garry. Don't be such a stranger. It is good to have you here.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Ok Big K...........are you vying for the postition of Grammer Man? If it bugs you that much...........get a life and better drugs that let's you sleep

    I mean seriously, are you that bent out of shape over what Garry James said?..............if you are a firearm lover or a historian........you learn certain vernaculars to the subject.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement