On the difficulties of correctly fine-tuning your signaling:

I once expressed mild surprise at the presence of a garden gnome in an upper-middle-class garden …. The owner of the garden explained that the gnome was “ironic”. I asked him, with apologies for my ignorance, how one could tell that his garden gnome was supposed to be an ironic statement, as opposed to, you know, just a gnome. He rather sniffily replied that I only had to look at the rest of the garden for it to be obvious that the gnome was a tounge-in-cheek joke.

But surely, I persisted, gard

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_and_non-U_English

Amusing illustration through a 1950s sociolinguistic study.

(Damn, I swear there was a far longer discussion on signaling and countersignaling around here, can't find it.)

3FiftyTwo8y Out of interest, how does this read from a non-uk perspective?
3Pfft8y Maybe the story should be captioned "on the ease of fine-tuned signaling"? After all, the gnome-owner very effectively did communicate his class. On the other hand, deceiving people about your class is hard. But it's hard partly because there are so many way for people to send credible signals, so an absence of signaling becomes evidence on its own.

Rationality Quotes December 2011

by Jayson_Virissimo 8y2nd Dec 20111 min read586 comments

4


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