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09/30/2015 04:03 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Word Origin Comics: Snobs of the World Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Disdain

Is that your nose that's up in the air? Could you possibly be a snob?

"People who hold important positions in society are commonly labeled "somebodies," and their inverse "nobodies"-both of which are, of course, nonsensical descriptors, for we are all, by necessity, individuals with distinct identities and comparable claims on existence. Such words are nevertheless an apt vehicle for conveying the disparate treatment accorded to different groups. Those without status are all but invisible: they are treated brusquely by others, their complexities trampled upon and their singularities ignored."

― Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety

For Example:

"Marcia was silent a moment. Then a sort of softer gleam came into her angry eye.

"Tell me some more about her," she said.

Adele clapped her hands.

"Ah, that's splendid," she said. "You're beginning to feel kinder. What we would do without our Lucia I can't imagine. I don't know what there would be to talk about."

"She's ridiculous!" said Marcia relapsing a little.

"No, you mustn't feel that," said Adele. "You mustn't laugh at her ever. You must just richly enjoy her."

"She's a snob!" said Marcia, as if this was a tremendous discovery.

"So am I: so are you: so are we all," said Adele. "We all run after distinguished people like--like Alf and Marcelle. The difference between you and Lucia is entirely in her favour, for you pretend you're not a snob, and she is perfectly frank and open about it. Besides, what is a duchess like you for except to give pleasure to snobs? That's your work in the world, darling; that's why you were sent here. Don't shirk it, or when you're old you will suffer agonies of remorse. And you're a snob too. You liked having seven--or was it seventy?--Royals at your dance."

"Well, tell me some more about Lucia," said Marcia, rather struck by this ingenious presentation of the case.

"Indeed I will: I long for your conversion to Luciaphilism. Now to-day there are going to be marvellous happenings..."

― E.F. Benson, Lucia in London

For the source of that snobbery, read on...

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