Sunday, 28 July 2013

"GENERAL IGNORANCE"

I've been thinking lately about stuff that everyone, including me, isn't taught at school.

Great Britain
There's a lot at the moment about Great Britain but no one seems to know what the word Great is there for. Everyone is just caught up with the idea of being called great.

I remember years ago a series on BBC where people were given a camera to record anything to go into an archive. A foreign university student spent his time ranting & asking why Britain was being called Great, when all he needed to do was look in a dictionary.

If he looked in a dictionary he’d find it was simply a geographical term for the largest island of the British Isles. I've seen road atlases of Great Britain which show the Isle of Wight on the front cover, which isn't part of Great Britain.

It should really be called the United Kingdom.


Judge’s gavel
I have often noticed that British judges are portrayed on TV using a gavel? People are so used to seeing them being used on American TV or in films, so that when they act out the part in a British court room, the gavel is quite often included. It's a bit strange. If you asked them they'd be convinced that they were used in Britain.

Pronouncing flaccid correctly.
There are only 2 ways to pronounce a double c. It is either as in account or as in accident, and it's the second way - flaksid. This is worse when a doctor or other medical professional doesn't know!

Distinguishing between a pillory & stocks.
A person stands up with their hands and head in a pillory. In stocks, they would sit down with their ankles through the holes. Stocks are like someone wearing wooden socks or stockings.

The short billion
.
The French came up with the billion (million million) but for some strange reason they also invented the short billion (thousand million).


What was the idea behind that? I can understand the normal billion, being a million followed by second (a bi-million) but a thousand million makes no sense whatsoever. I refuse to use it myself and I am mystified as to why everyone else does.

The stand by on electrical equipment.
I never use this button but everyone else appears to use it. I have been in people's homes where a room would contain numerous appliances on stand by. How can everyone complain about their electricity bills when they have left everything switched on for 24 hours? The electricity companies and governments regularly speak about meeting the future needs for power, but if everyone switched off, power consumption would drop considerably. Of course the electricity suppliers are quite happy about helping with their profits.

Some mistakes: Someone saying a woman has bosoms when they would usually only have one bosom! Calling a woman a chairman! Using hero instead of heroine; ambassador instead of ambassadress.

Political correctness
This makes people paranoid about what they can do or say. And also those who are supposedly in charge overdoing the enforcement of that paranoia to a ridiculous level. Those who they are worried about offending are not generally bothered by it.

Using a £ sign as an E instead of an L.

An advert recently showed the word STR££T which would be STRLLT.


In this town's Co-operative Travel, there's a poster showing this:
TRAV€L MONE¥ MAD£ EA$Y
When it should have been this:
TRAVE£ MONE¥ MAD€ EA$Y

No one now seems to remember that it stands for Libra. In pre decimal times the money was Libra Solidus Denarius, or pound, shilling and pence (£ s d). A solidus is a /, which was used as a symbol for a shilling (1/-). For shillings and pennies it would be 2/6.

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