Knocklofty maintains researchers in far-flung and barbarous parts of the English-speaking world. For example, one of our younger field officers is still under sedation following her return from a study of the use of the apostrophe by Tasmanian signwriters.

Today we received a message from a member of our undercover team in Washington, a body of stalwarts who keep us informed about the cataracts of linguistic slime gushing from the White House, Congress and the more grotesque think tanks within the Beltway.

An elderly lady he knows went into one of Jerry Falwell’s luxurious whited sepulchres today and asked for an appointment with The Reverend.

A neatly-tailored young receptionist with a more than normally pious expression explained to her that The Reverend had been obliged to keep an unscheduled appointment with his Maker.

“I’m so sorry,” the old lady said, dropping a dollar into the donation box as she left.

An hour later she returned and repeated her request for an audience.

Patiently, the receptionist explained to her again that the Rapture had snuck up on The Reverend without the involvement of the Soviet nuclear arsenal and that she would have to wait for an appointment until they found out what the Book of Revelations really means.

“I’m so sorry,” said the old lady, depositing another dollar on her way out.

Another hour passed and she was back, with the same request.

“Ma’am,” said the receptionist with an expression pious enough to relieve Martin Luther’s constipation, “I have already explained that The Reverend Falwell’s soul has been gathered to the bosom of Abraham.”

“I know,” said the old lady. “It’s worth a dollar a pop just to hear it again.”