Discussion in 'English Only' started by möglich, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. möglich Senior Member

    Hello, it is from "the Exploits of Engelbrecht" - a British surrealist novel written in the 40s/50s by Maurice Richardson.
    It is election time and here is the political picture :
    "In the middle of his maiden speech, shorty after the liquidation of parliament, the last holder of the seat refused to accept the Shrieker's directive to pipe down."

    I am not familiar with British rural constituencies and assemblies, and I guess "shrieker" must be an invention of the author, but what's the name of the person usually in charge of good behaviour during sessions ?
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    The shrieker is an invention. A chairman would usually be in charge of good behaviour during sessions.

    However, various societies, the Freemasons, The Water Buffalos, The Oddfellows, etc., all have grandiloquent titles for officials whose duties are mainly ceremonial;
    Maurice Richardson has adapted this quirky naming system for his own purposes with "Shrieker" which is, at least, half-believable.
  3. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    The Speaker presides over debates, as does the Speaker of the House of Commons. I imagine "the Shrieker" is a play on this word.
  4. möglich Senior Member

    thanks, PaulQ and velisarius

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