Now the Pedant is really revolting!

I think the UK media are getting carried away with the imminent D-Day commemorations and the presence of the US President in our country.

I just heard on TV that “veterans, including a 101 year old, will be visiting the beaches in Normandy with the Queen and President Trump, where they fought 75 years ago.”

I can quite believe that Her Majesty sneaked out of the palace and crossed the Channel for a sneaky pot-shot at the nasty Germans, but I cannot believe that of Mr. Trump.

I understand that the President has conveniently managed to avoid any military service whatsoever, quite unlike Her Majesty.

The Pedant revolts again

A local estate is holding an open day in the near future.

I don’t know if the printer of the publicity leaflet ran out of punctuation marks but they have left me confused.  Apparently the attractions on the day are:

“CREAM TEAS, PIMMS & ICE-CREAM GUIDED MEDITATION IN NATURE GAMES & COMPETITION FOR CHILDREN.”

I have no idea what “nature games” are, or how they involve meditation.  Is the meditation during the games to be guided only by ice-cream or by both Pimms and ice-cream?  Further clarification is required.

It might be worth the compulsory “donation” to a local charity as an entry fee simply to discover what one must do in the competition to win a child.

Disgruntled with the “News”

This evening I was wondering if I was watching the news on TV or some satirical programme.

First I hear that the broadcaster Danny Baker has been summarily sacked by the BBC for publishing a photograph that would not be out of place on the front cover of “Private Eye” (a publication edited by another popular BBC personality).  It was labelled as “racist”, despite it being an archive photograph of two people and a chimpanzee.  Which race, I ask, was suffering any harm or insult from this photograph?

The next story involved a government department warning that people may have to move away from areas liable to flooding, while at the same time advising that building on flood plains is likely to double in the next 50 years.

Why?

Changing channel I heard that we would be hearing from a correspondent “momentarily”.  Sorry, but why bother to employ a correspondent if they are not to be allowed more than a moment to make their report?

I think I will stick to the satirical “news” programmes.  At least in those the contributors tend to think before they speak.

Parliamentary Etiquette

One thing that I do enjoy when listening to British parliamentary debates is the formalised speech.  Sometimes the best insults may be concealed behind the eloquence of the most fluent in this form of English.

It is archaic, but it has its own charm.  For example, in the House of Commons, one never refers to the House of Lords (the regulatory, or “upper” chamber of parliament), but to “Another Place”.

The Speaker of the House will call members to speak by name, but in all other circumstances, and by other members they are referred to as: e.g.”The Minister” or “The (Honourable) Member for Little Podlington and Sparrowbridge”, or if they happen to be on the same side, one can get away with: “My Honourable Friend”.

Apart from anything else, it’s a great test of memory when there are 650 people to remember together with their official titles if appropriate and the constituency they represent.

A classic example of the pedantry is a frequent declamation from the Speaker:
“Order! The Honourable Gentleman must not shout from a sedentary position.”, which can be interpreted as “Oy, you – shut your mouth and wait your turn.”

A wonderful example today of a minor rebuke by Mr. Speaker Bercow:
“We welcome the honourable member for X to the chamber, and we hope that she has sufficiently recovered her breath to ask her scheduled question”.
Or in other words: “You’re late, and you missed your turn.”

And you thought Chaucer and Shakespeare were difficult to understand?


By the way, I think that Mr. Speaker Bercow is looking very fatigued after the last two days of chairing parliamentary debates about “Brexit” that remind me of the old computer game “Lemmings”.   Instead of building bridges, our MPs have started digging holes in different directions and neither side now has enough bridge builders to get anyone out of the hole.


 

the Pedant’s Revolt

From a pedant.

I must give up watching TV quiz shows, because I end up shouting in annoyance at the screen.

Yesterday on “The Chase”:

Question: “During which war was the Special Boat Service created?”

Answer: “WW2” – “Correct”

Actually, wrong.  The Special Boat Section was created in 1940.  The Special Boat Squadron was created in 1977 and the Special Boat Service in 1987, during the Laos-Thailand Border War.

A TV advertisement competition broadcast today required the single word (sic) answer “Windsor Castle”.

And to cap it all I spent over half an hour this morning trying to work out an unsolvable “cross-sum” puzzle on my tablet, wherein the numbers 1-9 must be put into a grid to make 6 correct calculations.  The result required,  and checked with the official answer, included the calculation “1+6/3=2”.

is it just me?

From a pedant

I freely admit that I am a pedant.  I also acknowledge that language evolves. But I am becoming increasingly annoyed about the wrongful use of the word “multiple”.

I hear it all the time nowadays.  The latest was on the BBC news “multiple people have been shot…”

I believe they mean “many”, or “several”, or “some” or “a number of” or even “lots of”.  Multiple people by definition means people composed of several components, which I guess means all of us.  It is not any form of quantitative evaluation.

If we could please revert to the real meaning of “multiple”, as in “six is a multiple of two and three”, maybe we could also dispense with the horrid dumbing down phrase of “timesed by” rather than the correct “multiplied by”.

Of course, three times two equals six, and three multiplied by two equals six, but “timesed by” makes no sense whatsoever.  I cannot find any definition of the word “timesed” except in the plebian “Wiktionary”, compiled by contributors of no officially recognised knowledge of the subject matter.