March 28, 2011

"[I]f only we have the nous to know what to do next..."

No nous is good nous.

19 comments:

Dose of Sanity said...

I hate seeing "nous" - I always read it as "we".

Pronounced differently too - which half of the time sparks a "Knights who say Nu" "No No, it's a NI sound. Ni Ni!" rant to anyone in the area.

rhhardin said...

The classical opposite is hyle.

David said...

Noose?

Not civil at all.

traditionalguy said...

This Limey can stick his nous up his ass. Americans demonstrate at elections that change the government peacefully. The aristocrat encumbered view from former Roman colonies, such as Britain, sees rioting with mass property damage as the only way to get government change from a government by a King and his gang of aristocrats.

Dose of Sanity said...

[i]The aristocrat encumbered view from former Roman colonies, such as Britain, sees rioting with mass property damage as the only way to get government change from a government by a King and his gang of aristocrats.[/i]

As an American - you should watch your analogies :-p

Dose of Sanity said...

oh damn too much message board time - used the wrong flags. Oh well, you get it.

reader_iam said...

"The divine reason regarded in Neoplatonism as the first emanation of God"?

reader_iam said...

Or maybe just pretentious slang.

Lem said...

"[I]f only we have the nous to know what to do next..."

We don't have princes here in the States.. unless you consider union bosses and union thugs.

John said...

Pas d'elle yeux Rhone que nous, Ann.

YoungHegelian said...

Nah, he's being pompous.

It's Nous in the Aristotelian sense of "mind", as in the mind of a knowing intellect. Meaning in this case "do we have the brains to do X".

What! Doesn't everybody drop Aristotelian Greek into their daily conversation? Anthropos esti leukos yerself, ya putz!

Synova said...

So... nous means "smarts".

What I find confusing is the commentator over there who helpfully pointed out to UK-ites that using slang like "nous" in the US might get one branded a neocon.

Huh?

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

@Synova,

Paying attention to those Dead White Male Greek guys might make someone think yer one of them thar neo-con Straussians or somethin'.

Lefties think that Straussians are a secret cabal that's the brain trust of the Right, and that the Straussians have a secret teaching that consists in turning lefties into Soylent Green.

murgatroyd666 said...

"[I]f only we have the nous to know what to do next ..."

But does he have a nose for nous?

Timothy said...

Aristotle was all about unions, and the Nicomachean Ethics was really a call to unionize (more on that later... and by later, I mean never).

Harry Brighouse said...

Traditionalguy -- on the other hand, Americans feel entitled to be profoundly rude to people they've never met under the mask of anonymity. Apparently. I'm sure it is cathartic.

Xenophobes and parochialists everywhere -- CT is an international forum. "nous" is a standard northern working class useage meaning "common sense". Its ok, Brits are offended by American useages that pervade their culture too. Parochialism and xenophobia are not parochial.

Synova said...

I brush elbows with our English speaking compatriots on the right side of the pond often enough that I use British spellings without notice. Same with Oz.

I think that nous is a neat word, but it's one I'm sure I've never heard. Not that I think I have some sort of comprehensive exposure to language or anything, but the idea that "nous" brands one as a neocon in the US is rather odd. Perhaps the person who said so wasn't aware that the usage was so narrow.

In my experience there are any number of regional usages in the US that local people never realise isn't common to other regions as well. The US is a large and linguistically varied place.

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