“Shyness is nice, and

shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to.”

I’ve often wondered why, in that lyric from The Smiths‘ song ‘Ask’, Morrissey chose to use the conjunction ‘and’ rather than ‘but’. What do you think?
So don’t be shy. One of you’s got be the first to dip your toe in the water.

Three questions and no replies yet. I’m feeling pretty lonely here 😦

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4 Responses to “Shyness is nice, and

  1. Tonia says:

    i think that Morrissey used ‘and’ instead of ‘but’ because using ‘but’ suggests that part of shyness is a hinderence whereas it is not all together a bad thing.

    that any use? i know what i mean but its hard to write.

  2. Mr Heald says:

    Woohoo, Tonia. The first post that’s actually attempted a language related comment: and a thoughtful one at that. I think you are absolutely on the right lines here. All we need now is for someone from my A2 group to come on and amplify your point (we discussed this example in today’s lesson).

    Another advantage of the ease of online communication is the  immediacy of it. Often when somebody does something impressive (or rubbish) I think I ought to let someone know about it, but never get round to arranging a letter home or whatever, and in the hurly-burly of the school day I hardly ever think of commenting in someone’s planner (does that still happen now you’re in the sixth-form?) Anyhow, Tonia, you can now show this comment to your parents so they can see how pleased I am with your contribution.

    (Better keep schtum about you putting your head on the desk and going to sleep in class, though, eh? 😉 )

  3. Tonia Lunn says:

    Thanks 😀 i would show them it but now you’ve just gone and ruined it by saying i fell asleep! by the way…….i didn’t, i just didnt understand what you were saying 😀

    Back to the English side of things……can you elaborate on my point and tell me a different way to put it?

  4. Mr Heald says:

    Well, since my Y13 students seem to have gone awol, here goes.

    ‘But’ expresses contrast, whereas ‘and’, although it can be relatively neutral, usually implies reinforcement: the second clause builds on the first (‘Moreover’ or ‘furthermore’ do this more precisely and more formally). So you were, I think, right to suggest that Morrisey is implying that shyness is ‘not all together a bad thing’. However, that’s explicitly stated in the first clause, anyway, so I think the use of ‘and’ takes it a little further. I infer from it that shyness stopping you ‘from doing all the things in life you’d like to’ might in itself be regarded as a good thing (perhaps because some of the things one wants to do may actually be harmful in some way, or may take away the ‘shyness’ that Morrissey celebrates as ‘nice’).

    This fits in with the ‘miserabalist’ reputation of Morrissey, the laureate of the fey, sensitive, misunderstood teenager (and yes, I was that boy!)

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