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"If you’re from a certain kind of background, you react with some alarm and uncertainty at a high school debate tournament when some Brooks Brothers-clad kid sticks out his hand as though it’s the most natural thing in the world. I mean, really: just like you have to learn to use a fork, at some point someone has to teach you which hand to use. It’s not automatic."

Not new, but I hadn't seen it, and I liked it a lot.
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Christen McCurdy's profile photoWarren Chu's profile photoGarann Means's profile photoMatthew Harris's profile photo
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An interesting read, and it also shows me how far behind I am in knowing what the denotations of certain things are.
What is a "Brooks Brothers" suit? Other than a suit made by Brooks Brothers, what exact image am I supposed to conjure up when I hear about someone wearing one?
 
That's what it is. It's a suit that costs a lot of money. Maybe not something you'd expect to see on someone young enough that they'll outgrow it within a couple of years.
 
I've been wanting to read Lubrano's book for a while now. Really good article.
 
+Matthew Harris I believe the author was conjuring the classic prep school image, my favorite example is that of the fictitious Baird prep school in Scent of a Woman (1992)

I like the writing style of the article, though I'm not sure I put much weight in the core premise since experiencing similar situations, I doubt they were due to social class issues but rather those of cultural background/heritage. However, much of the advice seems sound.
 
+Warren Chu I think the experience of being an outsider is pretty similar, whether it's for class reasons, cultural reasons, etc. Actually, I think the author makes a really good point about how class is its own cultural divide, just not one we talk about.
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