I was watching the news last night and Peter Mansbridge was interviewing someone about the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton (now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge).
He (the guy being interviewed, not Peter Mansbridge) was talking about how recently (paraphrase), "Canadians have generally become less attached to the Royal Family, but maybe the marriage will rekindle our interest. After all, they are a young, attractive couple and their story is romantic. It's about how a prince married a commoner..."
Then I had to change the channel, because the word "common" in reference to a human being offends me. Now, the person being interviewed did not say "Kate Middleton is a commoner". His use of the word was a similie, saying that William and Kate are like that fairytale story in which a prince marries a commoner.
But isn't this a rude term anyway? I can't think of a single appropriate use of the word outside old books. It sounds totally classist to me, and not at all relevant to 2011.
Because come on! They met at university. They are normal people with jobs. Yes, William is a prince but that doesn't imbue someone with more worthiness as a person (and he doesn't seem to think so either).
Implying (for the similie did imply) that Catherine is a commoner implies that she wasn't as good as him until she married him and became a Duchess.
This word is very loaded to me.
So Ehellions, is "that person is common" and/or "he/she is a commoner" a rude phrase in your country? I am especially interested in its use in Britain and Canada.
For my own Canadian perspective, I have never heard a real live Canadian say it until Peter Mansbridge's interview. But I can see my totally anti-classist father doing his nut over the word. We have, happily, very little classism here which explains the phrase's absence (generally).
Edit: Views from other countries are interesting too and, of course, welcome.