Posted by TheFallen on March 11, 2002
In Reply to: Seven years of college down the drain posted by ESC on March 11, 2002
: : : : I have always understood that people who behave according to the letter of the law maybe technically correct, but may miss the point or spirit of why the law was made in the first place.
: : : : I have used the phrase, "he's sticking to the letter of the law" in a disparaging way. However, I have found people I've met here in the US using the same phrase in exactly the opposite sense. Also, when they say he's acting in the spirit of the law, they mean it in a negative way.
: : : My usage of the term matches your understanding, and I'd be interested if you could give a reference to the opposite use.
: : : When I attended George Washington University (Washington D.C.) in the 60s, most students dressed for class in what we would now call business casual. In an attempt to upgrade the students' appearence the Administration decreed that male students must wear a shirt and tie to classes. Since GWU is known for it's excellence as a University that teaches law, the students complied with the letter of the law and began wearing tattered T-shirts - with a tie - to class. They also abandonded socks with their shoes, and wore ragged cut-off shorts.
: : : The Administration soon realized that dress codes could be written with ever increasing stipulations that students would circumvent, and repealed the dress code.
: : : The students went back to their their normal decent attire, and common sense ruled once again.
: : Amazing story. I attended the U. of California at Berkeley in the 60s. Tattered T shirts and cutoffs would have been an upgrade there.
: I had an extended college career. What my brother-in-law called my "tour of colleges." In the late 60s women had to wear dresses to classes and the cafeteria. Then in the early to mid 70s it was worn out jeans and T-shirts. After the mid-70s it was back to "stylin'" What do kids wear now, I wonder?
To throw my own shame into the melting-pot, when I was at college in the very early 80's, I was most often to be found in a collarless "grand-dad" shirt, jeans so tight and straight-legged that I risked gangrene of my feet, and pairs of primary coloured shoes with white laces, all topped off with a battered linen jacket to be worn often with the sleeves rolled up. As to today's wear, from my limited observations, we have a clear north and south gender divide. Female students seem to be wearing crop-tops, where the crop creeps ever higher nosewards as time goes by, and male students seem to be set on wearing jeans cut for someone like John Goodman, belted somewhere about the knees to prevent them falling off. I suppose that almost sensibly, the girls have decided that the young female midriff is often an attractive thing to show off, but with typical male idiocy, the guys have decided that what everyone wants to see is most of their underwear.