Off topic: the social context of anoraks

Bill Edminster bedminst at mc.net
Wed Mar 28 20:19:45 EST 2001


  I've been on binge of reading British and Irish books and of listening to
BBC4 on the Internet.  In several books or radio plays an otherwise
nondescript character is described as wearing an anorak and apparently that
works as social shorthand about the character.  I get the impression it means
he's economically marginal or criminal or politically green or criminally
green.  Am I reading too much into this detail?

  Not only doesn't it have a social significance in my corner of the US but I
doubt that more than 20 per cent of people in Chicagoland would know what an
anorak is.  During the last two weeks I heard someone on public radio guess
that it was a type of lawn furniture.

  Sorry that this isn't dwj related but it would answer a literary question.
I am very pleased to have a resource for providing the social context.

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