Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Household Names

Simon Armitage provides a wonderfully funny definition of "household names" in his article on war poetry in the Times:

"Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon are still household names (that is, the answers to questions in the earlier rounds of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) ..."

Try watching "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" in a country that you did not grow up in. For you, the hardest questions will be the early ones about idioms and common cultural references in that country. Even if you speak the language very well, you'll still regularly struggle with an idiom or two! A "household name" in one country is completely obscure in another. (Try talking about baseball players with the Swiss!)

1 comment:

Frances said...

I read the Simon Armitage article. It was interesting. The result of warfare hasn't changed much, ie a lot of people get dead, but I wonder if it is the process of getting soldiers to the front (ie the intensive training they go through)that perhaps makes these young men less likely to divide their focus sufficiently to write about their experiences.