Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:58pm
Note to Jonathan Bryant:
My name is Nigel Short and not Nosher. I don't call you f**k Face but, if I did, I expect you would find it insulting. Please show a modicum of respect.
Offence. There seems to be an awful lot of it about these days. Last week's big event, the Ricky Gervais shitstorm - rather reminiscent of kafuffles involving Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr, I thought - has already been replaced by the news that Hitler really hated being called a NAZI. (Yes, really.)
As you see, your humble scribe has also been busy causing offence. I’m not sure quite how I managed it, to be honest, but the Gervais business was all about a word beginning with 'm' and mine and Adolf’s start with 'n', so perhaps these things run in alphabetical order.
Doesn't like the N-word
Doug Stanthope, a comedian known for his especially acerbic style, once wrote that nobody has the right to be offended. I don't agree with this. Not in general and not here.
It's entirely reasonable that Short is offended by Nosher if he chooses to be. It makes no difference whatsoever that his response was rather over the top and neither is it of any consequence that he has his own extensive history of not showing respect to those around him.
In contrast to Stanthope, in the world according to me people have every right to be offended and while I also feel that everybody else has a corresponding right not to give a damn, in this particular case I do care. It bothers me that Short took umbrage at my use of his nickname not despite but because I had no idea he didn't like it. As Robin Ince puts it in an excellent article on Ricky Gervais' use of the word 'mong',
I do not mind offending people. I’d just like to think that if they cornered me in the bar I could explain the reason I was offensive before they punched me.
Well, now I know. I think it's a great shame that Short hates his moniker, but that's the way it is. From this day forth, then, TheChessPlayerFormerlyKnownAsNosher it shall be.
Admirably succinct. It's Doug Stanhope by the way.
Thanks. Stanhope is what I meant to type. Fingers often do their own thing these days.
Will changed it now.
Nigel's answer isn't exactly what one would expect from a gentleman, but one still has to respect the sentiment. It would be hard for him to know whether every person using his nickname means it as an insult or not. Still over the top as a reaction though, and unfortunately this will only encourage some people to continue using it.
So I take it you won't be going to this on Thursday night then?
Well..Nigel might be a bit of a prick....but he sure as hell ain't no Nosher!
It's isn't his nickname. He doesn't choose to own it. It's not like 'Jon' or 'Nige' which a person might accept. It's a name given him by someone, not from affection, but from scorn. Now it's adopted by you - as if you have title to how Nigel Short might be addressed. To make the point, he uses 'f**kface' in retaliation, emphasising that he doesn't call you this because you wouldn't like it. Frankly I can't see why you need to stir this further. A slow Monday perhaps.
Well, one reason it's worth examining is that Nigel's own approach to people with whom he finds fault has frequently been on the scornful side of respectful: perhaps all of us can be accused, at one time or another, of dishing out what we aren't willing to take, but Nigel is something of a leader in the field.
Which doesn't mean he's not entitled to his point - you can't deal with everything on a tu quoque basis, and if he really doesn't want to be called Nosher (which I agree, is not an affectionate nickname) then perhaps we should consider packing it in. But that said, if Nigel's asking for "a modicum of respect", then perhaps charity may begin a touch closer to home?
I don't agree that the nickname isn't affectionate. That's why it find this whole thing interesting.
(I do agree - now - that Nigel himself doesn't perceive it to be affectionate).
I never thought it was affectionate. If I had, I doubt that I'd have used it.
That said, it's several noches removed from "fuckface".
I tend to side with Short on this - he should be criticized when relevant for his failings, but this seems like a minimal standard of courtesy, What I want to know, as someone not from the UK, what "Nosher" means. It's obvious to anyone why "f**k face" would be unpleasant, but the normal definition of "nosher" is someone who snacks. (There was one site that offered a rather foul slang meaning to the term, but as I couldn't find confirmation anywhere else I'm not so sure about it.)
In future, give Nigel Short the respect he afforded Tony Miles' family and friends after his sad and premature death.
Surely a better anagrammatic nickname for the saintly one would be 'Hitler Song'?
Nonny: What I want to know, as someone not from the UK, what "Nosher" means.
Explanation of the origins of the nickname here.
Whether Short is offended by the association with 'git' - a derogatory though fairly mild term - or whether it's an association of the phrase with Tony Miles I don't know. Most places on the internet will tell you Tony Miles invented the anagram, by the way, though that seems not to be the case.
Your name as anagram riff breaking out on the EC Forum thread. Remember kids: it's not big or clever.
I think the question may be what "nosher" actually means, and I confess I don't really know: I've only ever seen it as a nickname. Anybody in reaching distance of an OED?
I just reached for my New Shorter OED 1993 edition.
Nosher: a person who noshes, spec. a person who samples food before buying it. M20.
Nosh (verb): 1. Nibble or eat (a snack) (chiefly N Amer.); eat (food) esp. heartily or greedily. M20. 2. To perform fellatio (with). M20.
Hmm - so perhaps Nigel's objection is understandable.
I'm sure Giles Coren would be scornful at everyone's ignorance of the slang meaning of "nosh", as pointed out by Richard James.
While sub-editors, in contrast, would point out that my previous post had a misplaced comma...
talking of hitler some wanted to invade Russia others seem to want to live there
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