Tag: silly people

Jeder macht eine kleine Dummheit

The Knocklofty dialect laboratory has been listening to Australian radio and television journalists struggling with the pronunciation of the name of John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

This varies along a spectrum from ‘Beener’ to ‘Bainer,’ indicating the Australian media’s usual uncertainty with anything that isn’t phonetically manageable English (not that they always succeed even when it’s that simple).

Given its Germanic origin, the correct pronunciation for this name ought to be, says the laboratory, something closer to ‘Burner,’ although the majority opinion among our dialect consultants favours ‘Boner,’ which they feel is more apposite as it is homophonic with the American slang word, which means ‘an egregiously stupid mistake.’

Mau-mauing the awkward squad

Knocklofty’s outreach counselling service deals with many harrowing cases of authors, editors and designers bedevilled by intractable clients.

This one, from the bizarre and exotic island of Tasmania, arose from a client — a caving organisation — insisting on being awkward just once too often by requiring the acceptance of material by an unacceptable means. We were able to intervene and create an outcome characterised by renewed amity rather than extreme prejudice. This is the edited correspondence between the client, identified here as AJ, and the victim, who chooses to hide behind the unoriginal pseudonym of Jim Crint:

AJ: I don’t do FTP for many reasons which can be explained if necessary, including Tasmania’s crippled ‘broadband’; none of the printers I deal with here and overseas do it any more — too much trouble and confusion, especially with replace versions of files. Physical media — CD or DVD — are preferred, as is transmission of files by email. It may seem to be a time-saver but it ain’t.
Sorry to seem awkward, but this is experience speaking. — Jim Crint

JC: I’m used to you being an old curmudgeon pain in the arse, so no worries. I can’t see it being any harder than email (with the bonus of not having emails rejected for being too big, or having to split stuff up and send it over 10 emails to keep size down). I was mainly hoping to use it for the initial glut of info (save me burning a cd and then driving to West Hobart – save the planet and all that).

I don’t just sit at home (when I’m not at the pub) like you so I thought being able to transfer stuff this seemingly quicker way would be much easier for me (who cares if it’s easier for you?) — AJ
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A case of coprolalia

tantrumFew nations can do the storm in a teacup style of controversy better than the English. The loathly Giles Coren, long a restaurant reviewer for The Sunday Times in London, recently threw a tantrum over the removal by a sub-editor of an indefinite article in one of his reviews.

As we eschew coprolalia at Knocklofty, we aren’t going to quote from such an intemperate vomit of bile and arrogance, but you can read it here and follow a number of links and comments through this silly and delightfully trivial spat.

Our Department of Literary Taxonomy classifies restaurant reviewers as a parasitic form of life very low down on the food chain of journalism; the most complimentary description it could come up with is ‘a salaried glutton employed to write thinly disguised puffery, usually as part of a commercial conspiracy with the advertising sales department.’

The point missed by nearly everyone who jumped into the tiff sparked by Coren’s outburst is that most newspapers these days are full of the sort of highly mannered tosh he writes; it is often hard to distinguish where journalism leaves off and advertising takes over in the welter of so-called ‘lifestyle’ sections, which occupy far more space than serious news and opinion.

If the print media are serious about reducing their carbon footprint they might contemplate giving narcissistic trendoids like Coren the bum’s rush and save readers the chore of having to dispose of three quarters of the great slabs of newsprint that newspapers have become.