Posts tagged facepalm
It’s no secret that Gavin Williamson MP, the current Secretary of State for Defence, is nicknamed Private Pike, after Frank Pike, the fictional Home Guard private and junior bank clerk in the BBC television comedy Dad’s Army, who was frequently referred to by platoon commander Captain Mainwaring as “stupid boy“.
Young Gavin, who is the Member of Parliament for South Staffordshire, had a real stupid boy moment last week.
On Monday, in a gung-ho speech to the Royal United Services Institute, Williamson confirmed that the first of Britain’s next-generation aircraft carriers, the Queen Elizabeth, will tour the Pacific as part of its maiden voyage and that the vessel likely to tour the South China Sea at a time of growing tensions regarding China’s territorial ambitions.
Needless to say this has not gone down well in Beijing, resulting in a planned trade visit by Chancellor Philip Hammond being cancelled.
Even former Chancellor George Osborne has commented, also alluding to Williamson as a stupid boy, but using rather more words, as iNews reports:
You have got the defence secretary engaging in gunboat diplomacy of a quite old-fashioned kind at the same time as the chancellor of the exchequer and the foreign secretary are going around saying they want a close economic partnership with China.
The right-wing Telegraph newspaper has enjoyed a long and close relationship with the Conservative Party. So close indeed that it is often referred to as the Torygraph.
This close relationship means that developments within the Tory Party are frequently reported first in the Telegraph.
It is therefore no surprise that the latest developments on the state of the UK’s Brexit negotiations popped into my Twitter feed this morning with the following Telegraph headline and abstract.
Yes, that’s why the negotiations have been so disastrous. They’ve been handled by ducks, or more specifically a Eurasian teal, a male specimen of which is shown below.
How a duck or ducks actually managed to deal with the question of the Irish backstop remains a mystery and is probably why the Tory right wing is so obsessed with it. And quite what a revamped negotiating teal is, one could indulge in conjecture. Was it taken to some backstreet ornithologist and given the plumage of, say, an Arctic skua, together with a bit of beak remodelling?
Please Torygraph, tell me it’s not a typo! 😀
The placing of articles and/or photographs next to each other in newspapers (and on newspaper websites too. Ed.) sometimes has unfortunate consequences and connotations.
This is from the Murdoch-owned Times.
I’ll say no more.
It’s always good to see Welsh being promoted in Wales.
However, it does help if one uses a professional translator and native Welsh speaker before committing any money to doing works on the ground.
This has clearly not been done by supermarket chain Morrisons with the car park markings shown below at its supermarket car park in Caernarfon.
The error was brought to the attention of non-Welsh speakers by Twitter user Rhysew, who tweeted
C’mon @Morrisons, sort this out! Your Welsh translates as “Arse record” Correct it as DIM MYNEDIAD.
This is not the first time Anglophone companies have treated Welsh – a far older language than English – with the respect it deserves.
Most recently, there was comedy train operating company First Great Western, which will have no Welsh language announcements on its services between South Wales and London (even though it manages to embrace both Welsh and English train announcements at Newport station. Ed.)
Last year there was also Santander, which seems to have problems with Welsh customers expecting transactions in the vernacular despite having a clear Welsh language policy.
In the meantime, would any Welsh-speaking reader care to ask Morrisons if the “arse record” will be available on vinyl. 😉
One thing is certain about life in Bristol: it’s quite unlike living anywhere else and can sometimes be well beyond the borders of the surreal.
This feeling is enhanced by reading the Bristol Post, city’s newspaper of (warped) record.
Just skimming casually through the Post website, readers may easily miss some real exclusives, such as this fire brigade incident reported yesterday by Heather Pickstock, who is alleged to be the paper’s North Somerset reporter.
As shown in the screenshot above, Ms Pickstock informs readers as follows in this fine piece of creative writing:
Crews from Southmead, Temple, Kingswood, Hicks Gate, Bedminster and Pill were called at 9.46pm yesterday to reports of smoke billowing from the sixth floor of a high rise block a Littlecroft House, Pip Street, Eastville.
There’s just one thing wrong with the above sentence: it’s completely incorrect; there’s no Pip Street in Eastville and no high rise block called Littlecroft House either.
A research technique known to ordinary mortals, but not to Ms Pickstock, affectionately known as “5 minutes’ Googling” reveals there’s a a council tower block called Little Cross House in Phipps Street, Southville, a good four miles across the city from Eastville.
The Bristol area can breathe a sigh of relief that Ms Pickstock does not work as a call handler on the 999 emergency switchboard. 😉
Many of the phrases in common use in English have 2 sources: either the Bible (both the authorised King James version and earlier translations, such as those of Wycliffe and Tyndale. Ed.) and the pen of William Shakespeare.
Indeed, some lovers of the English language actually refer to it euphemistically as “the language of Shakespeare” when someone ignorant commits an indignity with it.
Today’s online edition of the Bristol Post/Live, the city’s newspaper of (warped) record has not difficulty in mangling some of the Bard of Avon’s actual words.
The misquoting of the Bard occurs in a promotional piece advertising a supermarket chain’s substantial breakfast. The piece itself was a cut and paste job lifted from the Post’s Trinity Mirror stablemate, the Manchester Evening News, which itself lifted the item from the Metro, a publication so downmarket its owners the Daily Mail have to give it away.
However, neither the MEN nor the Metro saw fit to misquote Shakespeare; that was a solo effort by the Temple Way Ministry of Truth.
The offending sentence is in the final passage shown in the above screenshot, i.e.:
The breakfast contains your entire daily allowance in one foul swoop, but it’s described as the perfect meal for those with a big appetite.
The actual words penned by Shakespeare are not “one foul swoop” but “one fell swoop” and occur in Macbeth, Act 4, scene 3, when Macduff hears that his family have been killed. Macduff remarks:
All my pretty ones?
Did you say all?—O hell-kite!—All?
What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam,
At one fell swoop?
“One fowl swoop” is occurs frequently as a variation to the misquotation.
Whether Shakespeare actually invented the phrase himself or was the first to write it down is a matter of debate. Even so, Macbeth was written in 1605, so even the Bard’s the phrase dates back over four centuries.
The adjective “fell” is archaic, meaning evil or cruel, so it’s unsurprising that it’s misquoted. Moreover, in its context tends to occur in literary works such as J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic “Lord of the Rings” (e.g. fell beasts).
This blog has previously documented the carnage on the highways caused by driverless vehicles (posts passim).
The Bristol Post, the city’s newspaper of warped record, has now discovered that driverless vehicles are not only responsible for so-called “accidents“, but have now turned to theft – or attempted theft – as well.
If there’s one crumb of comfort to be gained from the above report, it is that our brave boys and girls in blue would have had no trouble spotting the offending vehicle with those American “license plates“. 😉
It’s official: the Bristol Post (or is it BristolLive? Ed.) is changing its name to the Manchester Evening News.
And the revelation comes in a piece from no less a personage than Mike Norton, the title’s editor in chief himself, and is hidden away in the details about the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The relevant section is outlined in red in the image below. Click on the image for the full-sized version.
Whether production of the Post will be moved up north from the Temple Way Ministry of Truth is not mentioned.
Is Mike Norton guilty of copying and pasting without checking the actual wording?
In Private Eye’s immortal words: we should be told! 🙂
Although it’s not one of his regular local media reads, your ‘umble scribe might just start visiting the Oswestry and Border Counties Advertizer website more to keep up to date with dynamic, one could even say groundbreaking, developments in use of the English language, if the headline of the report shown below is in any way typical of modern journalism.
The same piece, by the same author, also appears in yesterday’s Whitchurch Herald, where similar sub-editing skills are in evidence.
In amongst the blizzard of snow-related news coverage, one significant item of information has been overlooked by almost all of the media: the Met Office, formerly an executive agency and trading fund of the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is now part of major British supermarket chain Asda Stores Ltd., which is itself owned by US retail giant Walmart, Inc.
Indeed, the only part of the mainstream media to pick up this news yesterday was the Bristol Post, the city’s newspaper of (warped) record, as shown by the screenshot below of that mighty organ’s home page.
Unless the above headline and tagging are yesterday’s deliberate mistake by the Temple Way Ministry of Truth, it is most baffling why such a momentous government asset disposal has not been mentioned elsewhere.
Finally, Walmart is rumoured to be such a hands-on company that the heating in all its stores is controlled from corporate headquarters. This blog trusts that Met Office employees are prepared for such control-freakery.