Archive for the ‘Grammar & Linguistics’ Category

The so-called President

February 5, 2017 58 comments


His VP says we are getting used to him ‘speaking his mind’. Well, yes, but there is a clear line between expressing an opinion based on facts and expressing an objection in derogatory terms (ad hominem). His latest jibe – the ‘so-called judge’ crosses that line.

This portrait catches admirably his other Donald Duck-like features.


January 2, 2017 8 comments

There’s a lot of noise about further education, its price and its value. Let’s not question the principle that studying a subject after school will be valuable, not as a substitute for eventual on-the-job training but as an intellectual challenge by way of preparation for work. Its price varies from country to country. Here in high-tax DK it’s free, as it was for Brits when I were a lad. Now in England somebody has to find £9k p.a. in fees (or thereabouts) and the cost of living on top. Loans, bursaries, etc. are available but it ain’t cheap for the average family to deal with.

But the meeja bang on about the demographic bias in universities – as if it’s a surprise. But have you looked at the mix in fee-paying schools? A lot of non-local children from the nations of the world.

So not surprisingly the top universities appear to be biassed towards the ‘home counties’. Sorry to say it but that’s because they and many of the top schools are there. Not all of course, before there’s an outbreak of under-collar heat! The brightest kids can be found everywhere but life is not an ‘equal opportunity’ experience.

Naturally, if you don’t believe in further education this whole issue is meaningless. But I do and it means  lot.


Spoonerism, anyone?

November 5, 2016 7 comments

The only examples we see tend to be vulgar or worse. The Rev himself however is quoted as uttering amusing confusions which did not depend on smut.

So do you know any new ones?

Coincidentally I saw  a real, live footie player today who rejoices in the name of Connor Wickham. So? you ask. Well, when spoonerised he is (yes) Wonnor Cickham! How appropriate, eh? OR he’s a NY chef with limited skills: Cinnor Wockham. Sorry.

So now it’s your turn. People are the best subjects. Laters…..

The Danes have a word for it

November 4, 2016 13 comments

The meeja are going on about it, hygge*, one of the year’s top ten words allegedly.

It’s funny how a common idea can become news. In this case the idea is already global. It’s what the British pub offers,  it’s what elderly denizens of Mediterranean villages enjoy at the taverna, it’s a family barbie in Oz. So why all the fuss this year? It can only be because some ‘opinion leaders’ have discovered a word to encapsulate the thought!

*So the Danes get credit for a Norwegian word pronounced hoo-guh.  But we’ll all stick to our own ways of doing it.



October 22, 2016 34 comments

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m as francophile as the next man. M. Hulot is a hero, Bardot an icon, Paris the real deal. But like so many good things France is badly served by its people when the chips are down.

Remember Charles Le Nez? He’s the fella who decamped to London when les Boches invaded and returned home when the last shots had been fired, declaring he was the saviour of France. But he was the only European who believed it.

And now, when France faces a formidable force of British brains in the Battle of Brexit, what do les Froches do? They puff themselves up and bring out their most horrifying weapon, so often deployed against British tourists: Non speakee Eenglish.

It’s just the French way. Such self-belief! So divorced from reality! You have to admire them – or do you?

By any other name

September 24, 2016 9 comments

Stop calling it the Czech Republic! It’s Czechia! Just like Slovakia.

Yeah, right. And Holland? Or Taiwan? Or Belarus?  And Cologne? Or Calcutta! Not to say Copenhagen.

I know we can’t say Ayer’s Rock any more but p-lease! Potayto, potahto, tomayto, tomahto – who cares? Unless you want to talk about scones.



August 26, 2016 5 comments

It’s meant a lot of work and determination but worth every ounce. I refer of course to a grandparent’s input to a grandchild’s GCSE results, published yesterday!

My most senior of ten did all the requisite academic subjects and (Jazz note)  the really useful Textiles Technology, well suited to the distaff side methinks. 😷

So I can relax again until next year when another young lady shows her paces.


Queer stuff

May 16, 2016 7 comments

Call me queer but I’m sure society has lost its marbles.

The Nat Union of Students, always slightly bent, is demanding college accommodation should segregate LBTGwo’evah from er….others, presumably referring to what I call normal folk. (Go on, sue me.)

Why not segregate by colour, religion, football affiliation, hair colour, height, weight, dietary choice – oh and of course country of origin? Not to mention any other passing fad.

And bugger the education.

Test of time

May 11, 2016 12 comments

Looking back to my schooldays, I reckon many of my most valuable lessons were learnt by rote. Times tables, spelling, geographical facts and later, sorry, Latin declensions and conjugations. And how did my school teachers check that I knew them? By asking me politely to swear I’d made the effort? No. There was a test!

These days it is no longer pc, human or psychologically acceptable to demand proof of knowledge imparted. The pressure of being examined is too great for the modern child; and if you must check progress, offer multiple choice questions, to give ’em a chance.

Have you seeen the SATS papers for 6 – 11 year olds? Hardly surprising that by 16 so many children are illiterate and unable to do simple arithmetic. Ask employers how hard it is to recruit young people.

Some will blame Alex Salmond, but I think the Bliar Brigade should carry the can, believing you can make a silk purse out of a genetically modified sow’s ear and then cook the books to prove it.

Mr Malaprop

May 4, 2016 22 comments

The Donald struggles to express his passionate imaginings.

He did his heroic bit for 7-eleven and promises to win bigly in November.

Can nobody rid Murica of this bumbling oaf?