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the suffocating rules of the parlor

Chinese translation: 交谊厅中的死板规则


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English term or phrase:the suffocating rules of the parlor
Chinese translation:交谊厅中的死板规则
Entered by: Wenjer Leuschel
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11:39 Aug 30, 2008
English to Chinese translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Common Expression
English term or phrase: the suffocating rules of the parlor
Read in the User's Guide of a website:

We teach decent, well-educated people how to be really fresh to mean people. Since mean people break all the rules, we replace the vicious law of the jungle, and the suffocating rules of the parlor, with the warmth, humor and kindness of understanding.

Question: What is the parlor and why its rules are suffocating?

Wenjer Leuschel
Local time: 01:22

Selected response from:

Local time: 01:22
Grading comment
Thank you very much! Confirmed by http://www.proz.com/kudoz/2790238
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer


Summary of answers provided
4 +2厅室中的死板规则Ritchest
Summary of reference entries provided
Shirley Lao



29 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2



Local time: 01:22
Native speaker of: Chinese
PRO pts in category: 20
Grading comment
Thank you very much! Confirmed by http://www.proz.com/kudoz/2790238
Notes to answerer
Asker: 谢谢!The parlor有没有可能指的是维多利亚时代以降盛行的parlor games呢?其实,我最想知道的是,为什么那些规则被视为suffocating。

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxtianshandun: 对。这里的厅室可以是showroom, salon等。
48 mins

agree  orientalhorizon: 其实就是“会客的繁文缛节”,“你得这样笑、不能那样笑”、“你得穿这个、不能穿那个”、“你的眼睛得看这个方向”,等等等等,正和前面的“vicious law of the jungle”相对,一文一武都算了吧,既别来硬的,也别来软的,将就着点儿,理解万岁吧。
3 hrs
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Reference comments

3 hrs peer agreement (net): +1

Reference information:
The term "parlor" may refer to the "parlor culture" of the 19th century (possibly during the Victorian Era).

Huck's naive description of the Grangerfords' "stylishness" is of course meant to be funny, but Mark Twain's satire of the family's genteel pretensions depends for its humor on his audience's knowledge of what might be called "parlor culture." By the mid-nineteenth century, middle-class Americans had come to believe that the appearance and physical layout of their homes could both express and construct an aura of domestic harmony, social success, and moral rectitude. In particular, the parlor--a formal space set aside for social ceremonies such as receiving guests or hosting tea parties--came to signify the refinement and comfort of respectable family living. Primarily designed for display rather than use, the parlor was generally the "best room" in the house and usually contained furnishings and knick-knacks that cost more than the objects in the house that were intended for everyday use. The fact that the Grangerfords do not have a bed in their parlor--that is, they can afford to devote the space to formal display rather than stock it with furnishings designed for private, daily use--marks them as genteel and cultured in Huck's eyes.
(cf. http://www.learner.org/amerpass/unit08/context_activ-1.html)

As what Bushman mentioned about the "spread of parlor culture", this parlor culture made the people try to mimic their social betters by being refined and preoccupying themselves with the conscious construction of character.

Parlor people claimed to live on a higher plain than the vulgar and coarse populace, to excel them in their inner beings. Pecuniary display was outward.

By refining themselves and preoccupying themselves with the conscious construction of their character, they pretended to be cultured and refined. That is why the rules of the parlor culture were suffocating and made people uncomfortable as if there were not sufficient fresh air in the parlor for them to breathe, because everyone in the parlor attempted to mimic their social betters and behaved in a refined and cultured manner.

Shirley Lao
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Dominic J Tan: approrpiate and correct reference to explain why the rules of the parlor are suffocating, but on a side note, the original excerpt from the website in question seems to use the phrase for the sake of it, instead of being really relevant.
16 hrs
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