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Stephen Fry on Sherlock Holmes and Jeremy Brett

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That's a good interview!

 

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I certainly won't argue that point!

But I'm curious.  I've heard the term "national treasure" before, but am not sure exactly what it means.  Is it any sort of official designation, or basically an expression of the individual speaker's admiration for the person?

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Some don't like the term, as it can make a celeb think they have been put out to grass!

But it is a term of endearment for well known, if not quite middle-aged(at least!) celebs.

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1 minute ago, besleybean said:

Some don't like the term, as it can make a celeb think they have been put out to grass!

It does sound a bit museum-piece-y, doesn't it?

1 minute ago, besleybean said:

But it is a term of endearment for well known, if not quite middle-aged(at least!) celebs.

That's kinda what I thought.  Thanks!  Odd that I can't think of an equivalent American term.

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11 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Odd that I can't think of an equivalent American term.

We don't use the same term? "Yosemite Park is a national treasure...." Sounds right to me. I can't think of any (living) human being "we" admire enough to bestow that designation on, though.  (And I apologize for the dangling preposition. :D )

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We use it in that sense, too...which is possibly another reason those bestowed don't like the title!

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12 hours ago, Arcadia said:

"Yosemite Park is a national treasure...." Sounds right to me. I can't think of any (living) human being "we" admire enough to bestow that designation on, though. 

Thinking back a few years, maybe George Burns or Jimmy Stewart?  But I still can't imagine anyone referring to them as a national treasure.  As Bev says, it makes them sound objectified (as though they ought to be on display at the Smithsonian).  There are other terms that I've sometimes heard, though, like "the Dean of (whatever)" or "the Grande Dame of (whatever)," which are specifically people terms.

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"Chairman of the Board." :smile: But those are all specific to one person. 

Found this on WikiP: "American actress, comedian, television presenter and producer Betty White, who has been working in television since 1939, is often referred to as a national treasure in the United States."

Hm. Well, if they say so. But at least somebody thinks we use the term.

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16 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Found this on WikiP: "American actress, comedian, television presenter and producer Betty White, who has been working in television since 1939, is often referred to as a national treasure in the United States."

Hm. Well, if they say so.

Google does bring up thousands of hits, but the ones in the first few pages, at least, all seem to refer to her 97th birthday, and many of them use a lot of other similar wording as well (so I'm guessing they all copied from the same source).  I won't disagree that the term is appropriate for her, though!

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