Sunday, April 29, 2007

Who?

Your starter for ten:

"The unprincipled Englishman managed in turn to worm his way into the confidence of Korchnoi, Karpov and Kasparov! – people with different nervous systems, life experience and political views. Such a skill hardly deserves imitation, but admiration – certainly!"

Who's this then?

Bonus points available for the author of these words.

15 comments:

Tom Chivers said...

Bonus points? Yikes. How about bonus beers instead?

FJT said...

Is one of the initials R? (for the unprincipled englishman?)

ejh said...

Funnily enough if you put "unprincipled Englishman"
into Google you get this blog.

Tom Chivers said...

A (surprisingly?) uncommon phrase one assumes, then.

ejh said...

Well, there's four entries in all for unprincipled Englishman, three for unprincipled Frenchman and one for unprincipled Dutchman and unprincipled Scotsman. No hits at all for unprincipled Irishman but two for unprincipled Welshman (although the second of these seems to be a random word generation scheme).

This actually leads me to wonder why English accepts certain of these constructions - i.e. the nationality followed by -man to form one word, indicating a male person of a given nationality - but not others. We have Dutchman but not Swissman, Irishman but not Polishman. Why?

Tom Chivers said...

Mm, no idea. Good questions though. Hope they don't come up in the pub quiz, that I'm off to right now :D

Jonathan B said...

FJT:

Yes indeedy. R is very much in there.

Anonymous said...

RK?
Andrew

Anonymous said...

My guess is that Bill Hartston said it.

Angus.

Jonathan B said...

Andrew:
Yes RK is right.

The (alleged) unprincipled Englishman was Ray Keene.

Angus:
I'm afraid not.

So we're still after the author.

Tom Chivers said...

I'm not sure Raymond would mind being called 'unprincipled' - didn't he laugh heartily, when hearing Hans Ree 's opinion he'd (Ray'd) sold his soul to the devil!?

ejh said...

I was actually going to suggest Hans Ree (without all that much confidence) as there's something about the language used which doesn't seem quite right for a native speaker.

Jonathan B said...

Justin:-

well spotted ...

It's not Hans Ree but you have, Miss Marple-like, uncovered something of importance.

ejh said...

It's who I am. It's what I do.

Jonathan B said...

I've not been able to get into blog much of late so I'll give you the answer now while I can.

The author was Victor Korchnoi himself - tne quote is from his autobiography.