Some like carrying the muck for the brickies, but me?

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Baltic Sea

Banned
Polish
Hello everybody!

Some like carrying the muck for the brickies, but me; twelve bricks in a hod were enough and shifting between 3,000 and 5,000 a day kept you pretty busy.

In my opinion, the fragment in bold means Some workers (people) enjoy the prospect of carrying wasteful things (as thought of by the author) for the bricklayers except me. I am not one to like carrying such stuff. Am I right?
This term is from Silk Stockings On A Ladder by Yvonne SinclairIn paragraph 1, line 4 is this text:Some like carrying the muck for the brickies, but me; twelve bricks in a hod were enough and shifting between 3,000 and 5,000 a day kept you pretty busy.
The source: http://yvonnesinclair.co.uk/stories/Silk Stockings On A Ladder.html
Thank you.
 
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    1. I'm not sure why the author used the term muck. A hod-carrier is a person who carries hods full of bricks; buckets of water; sand and cement and other useful items to a bricklayer. I don't think any of those can be described as muck. EDIT - I was wrong see post below by papakapp.

    2. "Some like carrying the muck..." This may be an example of irony. Possibly it is not true.

    What do others think?
     
    Last edited:

    papakapp

    Senior Member
    English - NW US
    1. I'm not sure why the author used the term muck. A hod-carrier is a person who carries hods full of bricks; buckets of water; sand and cement and other useful items to a bricklayer. I don't think any of those can be described as muck.

    2. "Some like carrying the muck..." This is an example of irony. Probably it is not true.

    What do others think?
    I am in the construction industry. "Muck" is without a doubt the mortar that brickies use. (It is quite mucky after all.) A hod-carrier has two jobs. They cut and deliver the bricks, and they mix and deliver the mortar. The hod carrier doesn't deliver water, sand, or cement dust to anybody. They take those 3 ingredients and mix it up into the "muck", and then deliver that.

    **edit**
    They don't really deliver hods full of bricks any more either. These days they just use a forklift to lift a pallet of bricks to the brickies.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I am in the construction industry. "Muck" is without a doubt the mortar that brickies use. (It is quite mucky after all.) A hod-carrier has two jobs. They cut and deliver the bricks, and they mix and deliver the mortar. The hod carrier doesn't deliver water, sand, or cement dust to anybody. They take those 3 ingredients and mix it up into the "muck", and then deliver that.

    **edit**
    They don't really deliver hods full of bricks any more either. These days they just use a forklift to lift a pallet of bricks to the brickies.
    Ah...thanks for that clarification. You can tell that I have never worked on a construction site! :eek: I've edited my post.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Thank you. Is my understanding of but me correct? I think it means except me.
    Probably but I am not sure. That but me just seems to be hanging there serving no particular purpose. Certainly but me can mean "except me," but even "except me" doesn't really fit that well in the sentence. I wonder if the writer intended to write but not me?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Thank you. Is my understanding of but me correct? I think it means except me.
    No, I don't think so, BS.

    I'd say that
    Some like carrying the muck for the brickies, but me; twelve bricks in a hod were enough
    means
    Some like carrying the muck for the brickies, but me, I felt that twelve bricks in a hod were enough
    or, if you want to put it into more formal English:
    However, I felt, myself, that twelve bricks in a hod were enough.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Basically I agree with Loob. Here is my version:

    Some like carrying the muck for the brickies, but as for me; twelve bricks in a hod were enough
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think your interpretation, Biffo and Loob, is a very good one, but what's with that semicolon after "me"? That doesn't belong there if your interpretation is correct.
    Well, I probably wouldn't have used a semicolon there myself, Kate, despite the fact that I'm a prolific (and sometimes idiosyncratic:rolleyes:) user of semicolons. I'd say that the semicolon here is simply representing a pause in speech:).
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    May I just come right out and say that it's wrong, then, Loob? 'Cause it is. A comma would work best, and I could somewhat reluctantly support a dash, but not a semicolon. That's just not what a semicolon is for, not for a looooooong time, anyway.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    "Wrong"? Yes, probably:). But the text is reflecting informal speech. If I was writing a 'correct' version of this, then I would change the wording (either to my version or to Biffo's) as well as changing the punctuation....
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Now, Loob - since when does a semicolon have any role in reflecting "informal speech"? There are a few possibilities that can be used there to indicate a pause, but a semicolon isn't one of them. Almost anything would work better - a comma, a dash, elipses, or a colon if you want to get really wild, crazy and unconventional. ;) The only thing worse than a semicolon for indicating a pause there would be a full stop.

    The proof that this is just flat-out wrong is how confusing it makes the sentence. The semicolon makes it appear as though "but me" is part of an entirely separate thought from the "twelve bricks" part, and apparently it's actually an integral part of that clause. How much more misplaced and confusing can a piece of punctuation be?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think we're just coming at this from different angles, Kate. I'm just interpreting the text "as written"; you're wanting to make it "correct":).
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    a colon if you want to get really wild, crazy and unconventional. ;)
    That's me you're talking about. There was a thread recently about semi -colons vs colons. I can't recall the details, but I remember thinking there was a big difference between AE and BE usage. I did my own research in some style books we have and decided that some recent GCSE guideline was good enough for me: a colon is used to expand on what has just been said. That's what I was taught over 50 years ago. We were also taught that dashes are a strict no-no except in informal correspondence. I started using them when I got on-line but decided not to use them on this forum.

    Hermione
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    I think we're just coming at this from different angles, Kate. I'm just interpreting the text "as written"; you're wanting to make it "correct":).
    Sort of, but not exactly. I don't really want to make it correct - I want it to be clear. And I really don't want Baltic Sea to get the idea that this semicolon is a good thing. No wonder he had trouble interpreting it. Even as it is, we native speakers are having to guess at the meaning, and part of the reason for this is that misplaced semicolon.
     
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