Re: Two meanings in "American" (fwd)

James Murphy (jmurphy@MAGNUS.ACS.OHIO-STATE.EDU)
Thu, 23 Feb 1995 19:44:13 -0500

In what surely would have been more appropriately sent as a private e-mail to
Douglass Drozdow-St. Christian or to the list's biographical archives, Ruby
Rohrlich queries and comments:
> Hi Douglass: Did you grow up in Canada? I grew up in Montreal, our
> teachers were frequently English, and we were trained not on a negation,
> but to be modest. "Blowing your own horn" was considered very bad form.
> So when I came to the U.S. to live in my early 20's I was often confused
> about how to present myself, since I quickly learned that Americans blew
> their own horns routinely. Have you ever lived in the good old U.S.A.? Ruby.
One might interpret this text as a crude attempt at "American-baiting," but I
would prefer to use it as an opportunity to compliment Ms. Rohrlich both on the
remarkable ability she has shown in eradicating every trace of her "English"
training in modesty and on the thoroughness with which she has been able to "go
native" while living in the United States-- at least in respect to that habit
she seems to regard as so quintessentially American: blowing one's own horn.

James L. Murphy