Folk of my generation will all know by now that the acronym LOL no longer means 'Lots of love' but 'Laughing out loud'. Last night, I learned a new one - LMAO. Or 'Laughing my arse off.' Or 'ass', if you're American. This must be one way in which English text messages score over Chinese and Japanese texts. That said, there may well be pictograms for these and other common phrases. But anyway, here's an acronym I've just invented - WDYFOYSC. A clue - It'd come in handy when responding to my old friend Cade. A small prize for the first person to get it.
I'm beginning to get annoyed at the British tendency to say 'Sorry' at the drop of a hat. Yesterday, I came through a narrow door, unintentionally compelling a woman coming the other way to retreat. Which she did, while saying Sorry. And in the supermarket later I backed into someone who did the same. How did these people create an empire and win so many wars?
I should say, though, that at times the excessive politeness of Brits is admirable. For example, there's scarcely a soul who doesn't say Thank-you to the driver as they get off the bus. Which strikes me as rather nice. And ofttimes the driver reciprocates. (What a great word - ofttimes. But you do have to remember the second t). Also, virtually everyone says Thank-you to whoever's behind the counter in the café. Though I'm the only one so far who's had the gall to respond to the valedictory 'See you later'.
Another aspect of this (over?)politeness really does impress me, though. When I'm walking down the street and see someone coming in the opposite direction, it's clear that they start to adjust their position when we're 12 to 15 metres away from each other, so that we can pass easily, facing front. In Spain, on the other hand, there's no awareness of each other until they're maybe 30cm (a foot) away from each other. At which point, there's what I call a Spanish paso doble executed, as each person turns diagonally so they don't touch. Equally effective but different.
Austerity, growth and debt reduction don't necessarily go together. In fact, one may only be achievable at the price of the other. So why are we being told they can all be achieved - indeed must be achieved - in the majority of EU states? My guess is it's all a big lie; that the only target is debt reduction and the consequences of achieving it are masked by smaller lies about GDP growth and job creation. So nobody in power really believes anyone's budget numbers and everybody hopes the superordinate debt reductions can be achieved before the revolution starts up. It could be worse - we could have economists in power. Oh, I forgot. We already do in Greece, Italy and Spain. Not that any of them is a national.
Finally . . . So, are we facing Global Warming or a Minor Ace Age? I ask because the place in Scotland which was the hottest in Europe last week had a snow storm this morning. Spring has certainly disappeared for a while. Though nobody appears to have told the two pigeons outside my window as I write. One of them is desperately trying to mount the other. Who seems less than interested.
Which reminds me . . . At midday today, the couple next door started to make love. Not for the first time. And I wish they wouldn't as they go at it for 20-30 minutes and by the end of the proceedings the ear I've got next to the cup is rather sore. No consideration. And I thought all Brits were polite.