Saturday, 17 December 2016

Birthdays, famous folk, spellings and language.

Today is Tommy Steel's birthday. I found this information in the list of today's birthdays in the newspaper. I wonder how many of today's teenagers have even heard of him. Probably very few. Especially as he has managed to escape being accused of abuse of young fans in his youth. Good for him. Many others in the list I have never heard of either. Anyway, he is is eighty today. So is Pope Francis. Who knew that they were twins?

After getting into trouble for her comments about Theresa May's leather trousers, former education secretary Nicky Morgan decided she would not after all appear in the satirical programme "Have I Got New for You". So they replaced her with an expensive handbag, since she has in turn been criticised for carrying a designer handbag almost as expensive as the PM's trousers. Nicky Morgan apparently took it in good sport, stating that if she had known what they were going to do she would have sent the actual handbag along to take her place.

This not the first time that the programme has substituted an object for a missing person. Way back in 1993 Roy Hattersley cancelled his appearance at the last minute - for the third time!! - so they replaced him with a tub of Lard: "The Rt. Hon. Tub of Lard MP". So the action could be said to be unprecedented.

Now, that - "unprecedented" - seems to be a word that Mr Trump has difficulty spelling. I read that he tweeted that China had carried out an "unpresidented act" when it seized an unmanned submarine this week. Let's be generous and suggest that he has a faulty spell-check on his phone. Or maybe he is so pleased to be president-elect that he just has to get the word president in everywhere. The tweet was later corrected and the original removed but, as we know, once something is out there in social media, it has a life of its own.

I hope he does not read my blog as he is not noted for responding well to criticism and leg-pulling. Maybe he should take a lesson rom Nicky Morgan.

Will he continue to tweet as president? Will we see government by tweet and twitter and Facebook? I wonder.

I read something the other day about emojis, those little pictures - cute and appealing or just plain annoying, depending on your point of view - that lots of people add to the end of their text messages and tweets. Well, it now seems that some people also add them to emails as a way of perhaps avoiding misunderstanding of their message. A smiley face might stop someone taking offence. Some are using them in business and other official emails. So, are we in for government by emoji? According to the writer of the article, a certain Neil Cohen, it might be possible to regard emojis as a developing, independent language.

Final question, will emoji be the next official diplomatic language?

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