[DWJ] Re: Gotten, was Re: DWJ on Bujold

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri May 16 06:16:52 EDT 2008

>On Thu, 15 May 2008, Roger Burton West wrote:
>> While it may well have decent historical antecedents, I think it's
>> still reasonable to deplore the recent popularity of "gifting" in
>> its association with guilt-based consumerism and Xmas: for example,
>> a label of "gifting chocolates" (i.e. we don't expect you to buy
>> these for yourself).

and Paul Adinach wrote:

>There's a 1974 episode of "My Word!" where Denis Norden rants about
>'gifts' (as distinct from 'presents'), which he defines as products
>that exist solely to be given as presents, exclaimed over, and then
>put away somewhere and forgotten - things when have no actual value
>in themselves, like... well, like most of the things in mail-order

I think the word 'mathoms' from Tolkein, birthday presents that are
pretty-much useless and in some cases nobody can remember what they are
meant to be for any more, is a very good one for such things.  Stuff
designed to be given away because nobody can think what else to do with

>Actually admitting it on the packet is a new one on me, though.

'Useful gift' has been around for quite a while, along with 'enchanting
gift' and such-like adjectives, but the 'gifting chocolates' is new to me

I suppose it means ones you wouldn't keep for yourself.  Spring surprise,
anyone?  Crunchy frog?  Larks'-vomit praline?


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