Monday, May 02, 2011

Nice to know that the French TV commentator said that The Wedding displayed the particularly British ability to combine dignity with humour. Which is very much how I see myself, of course.Though without the dignity.

Talking of the Brits . . . Like any other occasional visitor, I'm astonished at how often they say Please and Thank-you. Perhaps the oddest example is when they're alighting from a bus. Everyone turns to the driver and thanks him or her. And some of the drivers are polite enough to reciprocate.

I'm currently at my mother's on The Wirral, prior to flying back to Spain later this week. My mother, of course, persists in calling this “home”, even though I haven't lived with my parents since I was 18. Anyway, the weather continues to be gloriously sunny – a far-from-usual situation which my Madrid-based elder daughter has ceased to find amusing. Apparently the weather there is terrible.

Opposite the block of flats in which my mother lives is the local police station. On a side wall of the building, facing you as you walk or drive onto the forecourt, is a large sign which reads “Health and Safety Starts Here”. My first question is Why? My second question is How? And my third question is Are Health and Safety now a compound noun? If not, why the third person singular of the verb To Start? If so, then my question should be Is Health and Safety a compound noun?

Still on language – I heard the “I wouldn't have went” construction from a government minister today. But, as she is the Minister for Northern Island, my suspicion is that this usage is common there as well. Very common.

Finally . . . For those with an interest in Galicia, my friend Peter Missler's book – The Treasure Hunter of Santiago – is a must-read. Click here for Amazon details. A snip at £2.12 to £20, depending on which format you opt for. And, No I don't understand why the used copies are more expensive than the new ones. Must ask the author. Meanwhile, I see that the stocks are low. So hurry!

While I'm at it, here's details of three books by another friend of mine, Michael Carson - Sucking Sherbet Lemons, the first sequel, Stripping Penguins Bare and the final sequel, Benson at 60. Guaranteed to make you laugh. Often out loud.

1 comment:

Anthea said...

The other oddity about English manners is apologising when someone bumps into you. I even witnessed it in the swimming baths this evening. A fast swimmer almost ducked a slower one (not me for once) and the victim said, "Oh, sorry!".

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