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So, the answer has just come in from the blog. I quote our blog reader:
"As far as I am aware there is no insult in the word ‘grunge.’ I had only come across it with reference to fashion a few years back when ‘grunge’ was all the rage meaning youngsters were wearing shredded jeans, and holey jumpers - in other words dressing down.
"We [English people] tend to use the word ‘grotty’ if we want to describe somthing or somewhere which is below standard, tatty or dirty.… [More]

Over on my blog about Lourdes (, an English reader asked if I was aware that there was another meaning to "grunge".
I'm American, and as far as I know, grunge refers to filth, dirt, horror of all kinds. As kids, if something was like that, we would call it “grungy” with no secondary meanings.
“Grunge” for us also describes a certain kind of music belonging to some members of a generation slightly younger than mine. That’s all I know about grunge.
I hope I haven… [More]