Gransnet forums


Scylla and Charybdis

(142 Posts)
Esspee Thu 22-Oct-20 18:01:41

When Boris referred today to travelling a middle course between Scylla and Charybdis little did he realise that he leads a country which has been so poorly educated that most of them hadn’t a clue what he was referring to.
I bet a high proportion of us over 70s understood him perfectly.

tanith Thu 22-Oct-20 18:03:42


silverlining48 Thu 22-Oct-20 18:08:56


vampirequeen Thu 22-Oct-20 18:10:23

I had to look it up. I didn't learn Greek or Greek mythology. However I received an excellent education. Then inability to speak Greek or have a limited knowledge of Greek mythology doesn't make someone poorly educated.

Ellianne Thu 22-Oct-20 18:11:02

Not a clue! Are they names of grape wines?

Oopsminty Thu 22-Oct-20 18:11:19

That's hardly his fault though!

EllanVannin Thu 22-Oct-20 18:13:13

I understood his meaning.

Ilovecheese Thu 22-Oct-20 18:16:34

I understood him, but I do wonder if these sorts of myths and legends are a necessary part of a good education, or more of an optional extra. They are just fairy tales really.
Critical thinking is, I think more important and I hope this is part of a modern education, rather than learning facts and stories by rote.
Points of reference that can be easily understood are useful but I think it is time to replace Greek or Roman myths by something that everybody has heard of.

MaizieD Thu 22-Oct-20 18:17:23

I knew exactly what he was referring to.

He's steered his boat so badly that he's put himself in that position. Naturally I'm not impressed...

Namsnanny Thu 22-Oct-20 18:18:45

I didnt learn anything so soffistica-ed at school.

Did classics OU some years ago though.

Surely the classics or Homer were never standard topics?

Oopsminty... quite.

EllanVannin Thu 22-Oct-20 18:19:53

I first heard the expression some years ago and it was said by a surgeon.

MaizieD Thu 22-Oct-20 18:20:26

Don't you think there is a place for culture and history in a modern education, Ilovecheese?

quizqueen Thu 22-Oct-20 18:22:29

I thought this was going to be a thread on whether we liked some baby twins' names!!!

Ilovecheese Thu 22-Oct-20 18:29:12

Yes, but these myths are not history, and they are a small part of culture. There are many alternatives.

silverlining48 Thu 22-Oct-20 18:29:20

If he is trying to impress with the constant referencing of Greek myths and Latin declensions I fail to be persuaded of his much vaunted superior intelligence.

GagaJo Thu 22-Oct-20 18:31:36


Don't you think there is a place for culture and history in a modern education, Ilovecheese?

Not if it is black British history, it seems.

kittylester Thu 22-Oct-20 18:35:09

I don't think he is trying to impress but misjudged his audience.

GagaJo Thu 22-Oct-20 18:38:28

I think he was just showing his assumed superiority. There really is no point. We all know he is incompetent, despite the classical references he chucks around. The only person he's fooling is himself.

silverlining48 Thu 22-Oct-20 18:38:39

Kitty I think he is, by showing himself to be oh so much cleverer than the majority of us, ergo he deserves to be a leader.

GagaJo Thu 22-Oct-20 18:39:53

Did Cummings say it was OK to use it, I wonder?

Ilovecheese Thu 22-Oct-20 18:39:59

An alternative might be one of an English myth, Robin Hood, and I am sure that the other nations of the United Kingdom would have some good myths to offer. Might try and bring us back together.

silverlining48 Thu 22-Oct-20 18:40:37

Is ergo Latin? I never studied it myself, our sec mod didn’t stretch to much further than basic French. grin

Lucca Thu 22-Oct-20 18:45:43

I can’t believe Esspee that you think not knowing about Scylla and Charybdis makes people poorly educated. A completely unnecessary piece of knowledge, nice to know about but please tell me how it fits into the educational curriculum imposed on educators in this country.
Teachers barely have time to deliver the curriculum as it stands let alone going off at a tangent teaching Greek or Latin myths and legends. (And I’m speaking as someone who loved those stories when at primary school)

PECS Thu 22-Oct-20 18:45:45

Whilst I understood the reference I think that because the PM had a classical education & studied classics at Balliol he will be used to using his area of expertise in his daily speech. Many people do this with areas of knowledge.
Knowledge in itself is not a sign of being clever or having particular intelligence. A person's ability to use , apply & transfer their knowledge & skills effectively in different situations is a a better way of knowing if someone is really clever or just a fact gatherer.

varian Thu 22-Oct-20 18:46:21

BJ speaks like that because he was very poorly educated.

He is so foolish, ill-educated and ill informed that he thinks that quoting Ancient Greek or Ancient Greek mythology will impress people who haven't got a clue.

He should be sent back to school for a proper scientific education.