Chocolate Digestives and Grammatical Pedantry

It’s a bad thing when you run out of chocolate digestives. This happened to us at work this week, but mercifully, Adi, our Admin Supremo, was on hand to dash across to Somerfield and save the day. He even got back with the goods before my tea got cold. This is top notch admin work, in my view. Our previous incumbents in the Admin Supremo position, notably Dish and Broon/Annie-Anne, would have been hard pushed to match this performance, tending to be more adept at scoffing the biscuits than supplying them. Dish, going by her comment on the last post, also appears to have developed the skill of playing ultimate frisbee with her buttocks, which strikes me as no mean feat. Can you throw as well as catch, Dish?

Anyway. Last week I accepted Colin Eye’s invitation to join him in a viewing of Spiderman 3. I accepted, somewhat against my better judgement, having been bored witless by Spidermans 1 and 2. But my alternative last Saturday was to spend a hand-wringing evening in the bar, examining another Holy Cross 2nd XI defeat (2 out of 2) and pondering how we might learn to catch a cricket ball (4 catches taken out of 20+ chances). Even for someone with my fondness for melancholy AND cricket, it seemed like an overly-depressing combination, so I opted for the cinema. I might have caught up on some sleep while I was there, had it not been so loud. The action sequences were fun, and I liked it when Spidey went to the dark side for a bit. I can even take the ridiculously far-fetched goings on, but what I just can’t abide is the mind-numbing tedium in between. If I wanted to watch somebody clumsily blundering their way through a relationship… well, let’s just say I don’t need any pointers on how to do that…

Speaking of mind-numbing tedium, I was reading a work-related newsletter recently, when a wonderful error caught my eye:

“For those currently waiting for NHS hearing aids we agree there needs to be a sustainable low weight solution…”

I’m presuming that they meant low wait, rather than casting aspersions on the lack of dieting success of the entire NHS audiology waiting list.

One of my co-pedants in the Apostrophe Protection Society, who refers to himself as the Comely Bank Branch, delights in observing mistakes like this in everyday life. He then texts them to me for my amusement. Consider the following messages I received in the last few months:

‘Birthdays’ at the east end of Princes St is closing down. One is encouraged to hurray while stocks last.

The Bristol City branch of is advertising the lunch of the Sony Playstation 3 on 23 March. Apparently stocks are limited.

I myself have noted that without leaving Queensferry St in Edinburgh, it is possible to unwinde with a drink at Halo after a day’s work, and then move on to sample the pre-threatre menu at Petit Paris. Before Christmas I also saw a Feastive Menu on offer in Burntisland, Fife. Perhaps my favourite of recent times was a warning sign in a hotel room which encouraged the occupant to advise Reception on their arrival “if you are disabled or hard of hearing which would effect your exit in the event of a fire”. I wasn’t aware that having a hearing loss enabled you to leave buildings, but then again, what do I know about such things.

So, Colin has now been mentioned in my last two blog entries, and as a fairly regular commenter should really be given a character page. As should Broon, really. However, the Blog Character Cabinet is pretty full. I think perhaps a couple of evictions are in order. I haven’t received any abuse from Friendy in a while – he must be on a shoogly hook. I like to keep these things democratic. Anyone care to vote someone off? Anonymous comments, for once, welcome 😉

22 thoughts on “Chocolate Digestives and Grammatical Pedantry”

  1. Pedantry is a gift, you must embrace it – when I becoime Prime Minister, I am going to eradicate pointless agencies like the “Scottish Executive” and replace them with worthwhile agencies… “Grammar Police” will top said list…

    I must, subsequently, and with regret, challenge your pluralisation – when I refer to collective Spiderman movies, I refer to them as the Spidermen (see what I did there). Additionally, I must insist that we refrain from pluralising the Matrix films wrongly; they are, of course, The Matricies….

  2. “If I wanted to watch somebody clumsily blundering their way through a relationship… well, let’s just say I don’t need any pointers on how to do that…”

    Is that so? Then, how come you have all these girls fawning over you? If you have your eye on a particular girl – ASK HER OUT! Statistically speaking, you have a 90% chance of a “Yes”…

  3. It is possible that the sign in said hotel re “in event of fire”, rather the person who put the sign there, thought that hard of hearing – and there are varying degrees of that – might not hear the fire alarm and would necessitate a member of staff checking the room.

  4. I’m in the Uphall Branch of the Apostrophe Protection Society, and frequently get “apostrophe rage” at school. I thought I’d put in a bit of French for you all to wonder at. From a top set 1st year French class, a piece of writing entitled “Chez Moi”, started out well with “J’habite a Livingston en Ecosse,” which was ok. When he got on to describing his house, it all went a bit wrong. “Nous avons duble glaesed windeux”. I kid you not!

  5. hehehe that’s beautiful Laura! As beautiful as some of my french english students’ english! 😀 was that a good use of apostrophe tho… I’m not sure? And excuse me quinnster… but the buttocks were used only in lots of running and jumping around and not in catching frisbees, you’ll be glad to kno. I agree with you mum too. I can’t really defend myself in the biscuits area tho I must add.

  6. Laura do you think it’s possibly a local dailect. I have come across a number of confused and alarming, idioms recentley. My favorite is:

    “its like getting blood off a duck”

    – needless violence!

  7. How do you propose to prevent double/multiple voting if annonymous voters are welcome? Or is it comments only and strictly non numerical?

    PS is there not some rule about changing the wording of a title that makes proper pluralisation impossible? – probably designed to upset the sensitivities of the most gifted pedantics

  8. You have no idea how much the QUIET EXAMS signs in school annoy me. I mean…you surely can’t get a Standard Grade or Int 2 in QUIET can you?!?! Put the comma in people!!!

  9. I saw quite a good one in London recently, more to do with poor use of English rather than grammatical incompetence. It was a sign outside a pub and said something like – “Free function room available. Ask at the bar if you would like to hire it.” If I owned a portable phone cum camera I would have snapped it & sent it to you.
    And thanks to dc’s fan club for the vote of confidence.

  10. We want to keep Jen because her profile photo portrays (aptly) her enigmatic presence.

    Disappointed in Friendy. Would’ve thought that the accusation of becoming a bit of a bore might have provoked a response..

  11. at least your latest anagram is more suitable than your first, surely you could have come up with something more appropriate to your role though – amen it exhorts.

    here’s a clue for everyone else: Mo hears it next.

  12. John – Shouldn’t that be “Put
    the comma in, people” ?!

    And my personal exam hall doors favourite was “EXAM. DO NOT PASS”

  13. Blood from a duck is a combination of “getting blood from a stone” and “water off a duck’s back”.. I hope. If not its just a creepy phrase she made up herself.

  14. Hazel – I can see the combination of sayings – but can’t really see how they merge well in meaning… that’s both ludicrous in meaning and revolting in imagery!
    I love it!

    Nasty Jen! Wowzers!

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