Monthly Archives: June 2018

  • Morrisons – bottom of the class in Welsh

    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.

    picture showing bilingual no entry markings with incorrect Welsh wording
    Picture courtesy of Richard Jones (@lluniarich)

    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.

    screenshot of tweet

    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. πŸ˜‰

  • Post exclusive: fire brigade incident at non-existent tower block

    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:

    screenshot of part of article

    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. πŸ˜‰

  • French IT website praises LibreOffice 6

    Yesterday French IT website Le Monde Informatique posted a review of the free and open source LibreOffice 6 office suite.

    LibreOffice 6 splash screen

    Author Michael Ansaldo speaks warmly of the office suite your ‘umble scribe has been using since its inception in 2010, following the mass departure of developers from Sun Microsystems following its takeover by Oracle.

    Translated into English, Ansaldo’s final paragraph reads as follows:

    In summary, amongst the notable features of LibreOffice 6, we note its excellent compatibility with the [Microsoft] Office formats, as well as an interface that will not disorientate the aficionados of Microsoft’s office suite. Nevertheless, some features are lacking, such as integrated cloud storage or even joint real-time editing. Anyway, LibreOffice 6 is still the best choice for open source fans and all those wanting compatibility with Office without buying Microsoft Office. Its availability for multiple platforms and its frequent updates also make it a clear choice for individuals and businesses.

  • Fell is foul

    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.

    misquoted Shakespeare quote is one foul swoop

    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?β€”O hell-kite!β€”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).