a tin hut

tetraeder

Member
Bulgarian
-I have to report to a tin hut on Ealing Common.
-Oh, lie down.
-No, no, no, no, it's true.
-The War Office now has an outpost.

I saw this in subtitles Parade's End part 3, Could it be a mistake and to be "a-ten-hut" (attention)... if not what could it means?
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Ealing Common is a place, so it's likely that there is a tin hut there to which he has to report. (A 'tin hut' would be a small building made of metal sheeting. This might be actually what he is talking about, or he may be using 'tin hut' metaphorically, as a way of saying that the place he has to report to is insignificant.)

    It would be difficult to make sense of the alternative you propose.
     

    tetraeder

    Member
    Bulgarian
    Story is set against the backdrop of WWI(1914-1918) and I think (I'm not sure of course) that in those days when you write official letter, it's beginning with - "To the attention of Mr/Mrs...
    Or I'm not right...
    I don't like how it's sounds - "I have to report to a tin hut..." - kind of..., but probably you are right... Thanks..
     
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    GMF1991

    Senior Member
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    Story is set against the backdrop of WWI(1914-1918) and I think (i'm not sure of course) that in those days when you write official letter, it's beginning with - "To the attention of Mr/Mrs...
    Or I'm not right...
    Where did the idea of the official letter come from? there seems to be no inference in the text that was originally posted...
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Story is set against the backdrop of WWI(1914-1918) and I think (i'm not sure of course) that in those days when you write official letter, it's beginning with - "To the attention of Mr/Mrs...
    Or I'm not right...
    I'm not sure I follow this, but no, I don't think that's right.

    I see no reason to think that the tin hut is anything but a small building.

    (I have never heard of the home front being referred to as a 'tin hat'. Perhaps monalisa! has a source for this.)

    I would not assume a typographical error unless there was no other way to make sense of the existing text.
     

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    I imagined the speaker was to report to the home front/ war office/ army in Ealing (air-raid wardens wore tin hats, and I am not sure if Tommy Hatkins wore a tinhat , too) and the other is telling him that now there is an outpost elsewhere, maybe nearer (?).

    A tin hut seems rather improbable. We need a Brit!
     
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    tetraeder

    Member
    Bulgarian
    Where did the idea of the official letter come from? there seems to be no inference in the text that was originally posted...
    Becouse I'm thinking like that... The raport is an official thing and could it be - I have to rаport to the attention of Ealing Common, but apparently it's wrong...:)
    Monalisa thanks to you, too.
     
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    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I have no doubt at all that it's a tin Nissen hut as Cagey suggested in #3. See details on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissen_hut.

    During and after the second world war, tin huts were a common feature in the suburbs, where they had been used as air-raid shelters. (See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-raid_shelter). But I'm sure that similar constructions existed earlier - corrugated iron had been invented in the 1820s, after all, and was in widespread use in the trenches.
     

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    That is interesting, Keith, but why do you think the War Office should build an extraordinary barracks for troops or other in central London during WWI, when the troops were fighting abroad and regular barracks were half-empty?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    That is interesting, Keith, but why do you think the War Office should build an extraordinary barracks for troops or other in central London during WWI, when the troops were fighting abroad and regular barracks were half-empty?
    Why do you think it's a barracks rather than just an office? The Nissen hut that Keith links to reminds me of (and is mentioned in that article) a quonset hut. They come in different sizes and can certainly be used as offices rather than barracks, although the larger ones can house troops, of course.

    The line was "The War Office now has an outpost." I guess I would expect an "Office" to have an "office" as an outpost. :)
     
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    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    The line was "The War Office now has an outpost." I guess I would expect
    Exactly that, Copyright. The War Office is not an office, but the Minstry of defence during the wars, so , I thought, if it has an outpost outside Ealing, the Ealing post must be a big one,and the Nissan hut was used as barracks or depot, Keith says a recruiting office
     
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    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    ... Maybe the problem with "how it sounds" is in my language ...
    Yes, I understand the feeling.

    Sometimes these cases of emotional dissonance reveal something about the other culture. Here, note the English preference for short, simple words, and our irreverent response to military authority. I can well imagine that in a country with different attitudes (Turkey or North Korea perhaps?) such a frivolous phrase to mean "temporary Ministry of Defence premises" might be unthinkable.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Keith, do you have access to that episode?
    No.
    -I read that wiki article times over, but I found no hint to tin hut, have I missed it?
    I was referring to the object, not to the word "tin". These huts were actually made of galvanised iron (as Wikipedia explains) but they were commonly called "tin". For an English person, "tin" is a dismissive, slightly insulting word ("tinpot" is even stronger), showing the speaker's attitude to authority. Bear in mind that in BE tin = AE can, as in a tin of baked beans.

    In Coventry a WW2 Nissen hut remained in use as the council staff canteen until the 1970s. It was commonly known as the tin hut or the tin shed. Neither term shows great respect for the building (nor indeed the cuisine!).
     

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    For an English person, "tin" is a dismissive, slightly insulting word (...

    In Coventry a WW2 Nissen hut remained in use as the council staff canteen until .
    That's interesting, Keith, why then tin hat, in your opinion?
    ...and, again , you said it might have been a recruiting office, the one in ealing, how could it have an outpost, and why should one report to a recruiting office?
    of course we should watch the film!
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    That's interesting, Keith, why then tin hat, in your opinion?
    ...and, again , you said it might have been a recruiting office, the one in ealing, how could it have an outpost, and why should one report to a recruiting office?
    of course we should watch the film!
    I have some trouble understanding why this phrase (tin hut) should be causing so much trouble, and why you should be wandering off on the off-topic byway of tin hat.

    If somebody was joining up in the in the First World War, where else would they go but a recruiting office?
    If the War Office was trying to recruit an army of hundreds of thousands of new recruits, it would, of course, require places to recruit them.
    Existing recruiting offices would not have the capacity, so temporary ones would be needed.
    The easy way of building temporary offices was to put up Nissen Huts.
    Nissen Huts are made of steel.
    It is a common British habit to use dismissive phrases, so a Nissen Hut is a tin hut (just as a steel helmet is a tin hat).
    Nissen Huts needed to be put up on open land, so Ealing Common probably seemed a sensible place, particularly as it was easily accessible by bus.
     

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    , and why you should be wandering off on the off-topic byway of tin hat.
    .
    I am not maintaing my unfortunate guess, Andy, it was just a guess, (and I asked Keith if he knew the origing of "tin hat")
    and I am not wandering off topic, I suppose, I hope

    I am just trying to understand the OP : "I have to report to a tin hut on Ealing Common".
    What intrigued me is that article, can there be more tinhuts there?... one would expext "to report to the tin hut at," right?
    and then again: a recruiting office may have outposts?, do you report to a recruiting office?
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I am just trying to understand the OP : "I have to report to a tin hut on Ealing Common".
    This is no different from "I have to go into the woods to shoot a bear." or "I really need to buy a car." Here, a <noun> = one, as yet indeterminate, <noun>.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I am just trying to understand the OP : "I have to report to a tin hut on Ealing Common".
    What intrigued me is that article, can there be more tinhuts there?... one would expext "to report to the tin hut at," right?
    and then again: a recruiting office may have outposts?, do you report to a recruiting office?
    No, one would expect nothing of the sort. There might be one tin hut, there might be 50, there might be tin huts on every available piece of open ground in London. He's just saying he needs to go to a tin hut, and it happens to be on Ealing Common. He is not specifying a particular tin hut.

    Outpost? I suppose that is vaguely on topic as the outpost is the tin hut.
    Person 1 -I have to report to a tin hut on Ealing Common.
    Person 2 -Oh, lie down. (Don't be silly, you're teasing me)
    Person 1 -No, no, no, no, it's true. The War Office now has an outpost.

    I have already told you who reports to a recruiting office. If you have a problem over the meaning of report please look in a dictionary and if still unclear start a new thread. This one is about "a tin hut".
     

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    You are right, Paul, :) "on Ealing Common" fooled me, maybe a more full/suitable example may be " I must return these shoes to a shop in Oxford st."
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    What intrigued me is that article, can there be more tinhuts there?... one would expect "to report to the tin hut at," right?
    Not at all and I cannot see why you would think so.

    Speaking as one who has slept in many Quonset huts in the military, I can tell you that such structures are rather small, which adds to their portability, and they usually are installed in bunches.

    Ealing Common is 47 acres in size (19 hectares) - just the sort of place where the military would erect multiple temporary buildings.

    and then again: a recruiting office may have outposts?, do you report to a recruiting office?
    The OP says nothing whatsoever about a recruiting office having outposts.

    A collection of buildings erected by the military department of the U.K. certainly qualifies as an "outpost," at least conversationally.

    And, such a collection would have many functions and recruiting (or a loo for that matter:rolleyes:), would not be uncommon.
     

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    Person 1 -I have to report to a tin hut on Ealing Common.
    Person 2 -Oh, lie down. (Don't be silly, you're teasing me)
    Person 1 -No, no, no, no, it's true. The War Office now has an outpost.
    .
    Thanks, Andy, Keith, SDG :) if I got it right the man is going to enroll.
     
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