The Secretary of State for Culture, Media, Sport and Capital Letters, Andy Burnham, in an interview in The Times today, lists his interests: “Everton, the Labour Party and the Catholic Church – in that order”, he says. Well, one right out of three isn’t bad for a Government Minister - and at least he had the order right. It should qualify him for the post of party leader, except that he's not only English, but Scouse.
In case it escaped your attention, this is my 250th post. No, no, please, no fuss, flowers or fireworks. I wish I hadn’t mentioned it now – I can just hear you saying “And this is after 2½ years’ practice?”
Speaking of posts, I was standing in the queue at the Post Office last week and I saw these marker pens. Ah yes, I need marker pens, I say, and pick them up. But by the time I get to the counter I’ve found, on a label containing seven words, not one but two grammatical errors. I point out to the clerk that “pens” is plural, not singular, and that the plural of “CD” is “CDs”.
The clerk is unimpressed, and Italian. He says what the lady in Marks and Spencer said when I complained about the “Ten articles or Less” sign. “Do you want them or don't you?” he asks.
It’s my doryphoria again. Interesting word – means being excessively pedantic: it’s derived from the Greek word for a spear carrier. So why don’t we call spear carriers “doryphores” instead of “spear carriers”? What’s worse is that it also means Colorado beetle, despite the fact you never see a Colorado beetle, nor me, carrying a spear. Confusing.
But it’s not all bad news: Premiership football is only four weeks away.