I have to say, I haven't read an entertaining book as Class for a long time. This book is just stimulating, fun, and sharp. It actually hurts. It describes sooo accurately of what I feel about many aspects/signals in life that I come off with a much clearer idea of what all these things are about and why they exist and behave in such a way.
Super interesting. One thing for sure, Noah will be a middle-class man, because I simply do not possess the attributes of the uppers, thus having no ability to teach him that. Yet I truly wish he would become one someday, not implying the fortune or the fame, but their carefree of others' opinion, their accurate use of words in its essence and intent, their blunt expression without ambiguity, and their dismiss of artifacts created without practical purpose.
This is brilliant! Really. I have been agonized by proliferating use of adjectives both in my own language and others for a while (even this exact sentence is full of adjectives I feel redundant, harmful!). I could not get to the bottom of it. I realized that adding more adjectives make the sentence long and richer (it seems), thus giving (or I should say, I, the speaker, hope) a sense sophistication and profoundness — but really many many times I felt it is a cover-up job because I (the speaker) simply lack the accurate understanding of the topic, thus having to pile up big words and adjectives so to describe it with an attempt to be accurate.
Well, at least in my case the intention is to make it more accurate than what my mind is capable to describe. There are another army of cases (that just annoyed me to hell, whenever I hear them in speech, see them in writing, or smell them in the air!) whose sole purpose is pretentious (learned this word from this book, what a lovely word!). Ah, how about another word, euphemism — this is exactly what I talked about China's booming degradation of its language — people are proud of speaking in riddles as if it carries more information than it contains. But the only effect is misunderstanding, anxiety, and completly irresponsibility of the speaker because the words are intentionally infallible, ambiguous, and keeping audience in perpetual suspense!
When upper says "I want my daughter's wedding to be right", I think they have a clear picture in mind of what is right (and certainly what is wrong). However, when the word "right" is being used pretentiously, neither its speaker nor its audience dares to stand up for a definition — the speakers feels superior to audience because s/he has just used an infallible word whose correctness is implied, inherent, built-in; the audiences wonder whether they didn't get it just because they are stupid.
How sad. How outrageous! This is not merely ridiculous, this is absolutely bad. I am glad to come across this book, not because I agree with his view of society (or even class divisions), but a sharp tongue to remove those seemingly elegant, civilized, sophisticated items in life. This is a book all marketing people should read, study, discuss, and apply — I always believe good sales is about a good understanding of the group (segment, but now we should just say class), about their human desire (of a projected image of themselves, eg. the collectible item example in this book, or the British product name, and of course the easy way to show $$ by dangling a luxury handbag with bling-bling name plate, and fondness of personalizing anything). If I have citicized marketing before, I will emphasize my view once again — stop thinking you are smarter than your buyers by selling your ideas to them! On the contrary, your success relies on you learning their ideas — you see, the whole team of China marketing gurus is getting this reversed!
So, call it whatever you want, and feel free to agree or disagree this book however you feel. The point I make here isn't about the class descriptions, isn't about signals to identify and categorize anyone, anything into a 9-grade system. It's the spirit of being practical, being truthful to oneself and to others, being real — if you don't know something, just say it, "I don't know anything about it."
This goes to all used broadly, freely, carelessly in China these days — 专家，老师，先生，大数据，人工智能...
— by Feng Xia