Saturday, 24 October 2015

Opinions and judgements.

Poor old Jeremy Corbyn can't win. Lord Mandelson says he is failing to show professionalism as Labour leader. Even his choice of spin doctor is wrong, according to Lord Mandelson, because Seumus Milne has views that are outside Britain's political mainstream. Maybe someone who is not a professional politician and thinks outside the box is what politics needs. 

I wonder what Lord Mandelson makes of the professionalism of Justin Trudeau, Canada's dynasty prime minister. Before he got into politics he worked in teaching, engineering, coaching bungee-jumping (is that a job!) and acting. Apparently his campaign manager was surprised at the things Monsieur Trudeau did not know about the political system. One Canadian journalist has said of him, "It is quite true that if someone like Putin or Angela Merkin or any of the dozens of different leaders were with Trudeau, he would probably be the least cosmopolitan person in the room, he would be the least savvy in terms of great affairs of state. It's not something that really interests him. I could see him leaving that to the professional corps." Hmmmm! Hardly a ringing endorsement. Let's hope he's a quick learner. 

Reading something about promotion prospects in various professions, I came across this: "you've passed the exam off your own back, no one gave you the answers. .... And then someone says: actually I don't think you're ready." It's not the promotion process that interests me here (although that does have its own fascination) but the expression used: "off your own back", meaning by your own efforts. I always thought it was "off your own bat", a cricketing expression. So I checked it and I was right. The website I looked at had this to say: 

"One question that often gets asked on this website about the figurative expression 'off his own bat' is "should that be 'off his own back'?" Well no, it shouldn't. 'Off your own back' originated as a mishearing of the former expression. It has gained sufficient currency to be considered as a viable everyday alternative of the correct version, but purists dismiss it as a straightforward error." 

I guess I must be a purist then. I must pass this on to my daughter! 

After yesterday's comments on traditions, here's another odd one that has sprung up - names for breeds of dog. I have mentioned this before. Often the names are weird and strange. The one next door to us is a cross between a shitzu and a pug - shug. A labrador - poodle cross is a labradoodle. Today I learnt another one: a puggle - a cross between an pug and a beagle. 

So I looked a little further. A pitsky is a pit bull crossed with a husky. Someone described it as adorable. The pictures I saw were not very pretty. Here are some more: 

Schnoodle - schnauzer + poodle 
Horgi = husky + corgi. This looks like a husky with short legs!!! 
Pugapoo = pug + poodle Chusky = chow chow + husky (what is a chow chow, anyway?) 
Chiweenie = chihuahua + daschund 
Taco terrier = chihuahua + toy fox terrier (quite a witty name this one!) 
Jack-A-Ranian = Pomeranian + Jack Russell 

There was a time when a dog that was not a thoroughbred was called a cross-breed, when it was not just a mongrel. 

How things change!

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