Old folk at lunch

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

SPOONERISMS



I am glad nobody fell into the trap of chiding me for saying "skinger of forn" in one of my recent posts. Though one lady who was the victim of a postmodern education did politely ask me what I meant by it. It is one of my favourite Spoonerisms. But I think the best Spoonerism is one attributed to the Rev. Spooner himself. He was dealing with a wayward student at Oxford and said:

"Sir, you have tasted three whole worms. You have hissed all my mystery lectures and been caught fighting a liar in the Quad. You will leave by the next town drain".

For those unfamiliar with British railway history, the "down" train was the train to London.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

GOVERNMENT ILLITERACY



We all know how appalling governments can be most of the time but they are clearly getting worse and worse. I think it is indicative of the low level of care now being exercised by the Australian government bureaucracy that they do not even bother to get basic grammar right these days. The literature you get with your tax return forms from the Australian government this year includes a leaflet that offers in large letters on its front cover: "Get your tax back quick". Yes, I am not making it up. There was no-one in a vast government bureaucracy that knew when to use "quick" and when to use "quickly"! We have government by ignoramuses. No doubt they were all educated in government schools too.