Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Expressive language. Cakes in the news. Pros and cons of the pandemic?

I’ve just heard somebody on the radio news talking, inevitably, about our prime minister and his apparent inability to obey his own rules and recommendation. The comment was along the lines of: rules and laws are made to be obeyed and if Prime Minister can’t obey them then he should resign. End of! 

It’s hard to argue against it, but no doubt some will. 

However, mostly I was amused by the sign off - “End of!” It’s not an expression I’ve heard used much lately. Maybe it should be added to the list of expressions the London Evening Standard tells us are falling out of fashion. Young people are not as colourful in their use of language as older generations it seems. Or maybe they just use different expressions that we older generation folk are unaware of. 

Here are some examples of expressions reportedly falling out of use £ the percentage refers to how many people interviewed never use the phrase:-

Pearls before swine 78%

Nail your colours to the mast 71%

Know your onions 68%

A stitch in time saves nine 64% (Maybe because nobody learns to stitch nowadays - my note!)

Knickers in a twist 56%

Could not organise a p*** up in a brewery 54% (Seems to have come back into use concerning certain parties that were or were not organised lately - my note!)

Popped her clogs 54%

Those are just a few. I use quite a lot of them and would actually like to see “popped his / her clogs” replacing “passed” as a way of telling us someone died. 

The news is still dominated by stuff about parties and birthday cakes. Lots of people have been trying to define what is or isn’t a party! Some time in the future people will look back on this and hold their hands up in amazement.

Sometime in the future there will probably be an examination of how well the world as a whole dealt with Covid, and how useful it was to put us all into lockdown at one level or another. In the meantime, experts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine are saying that more than 800 lives may have been saved across Europe thanks to better air quality in the first phase of Covid lockdowns:-

“Analysis of 47 European cities found Paris, London, Barcelona and Milan were among the top six with the highest number of avoided deaths. The study noted that closing workplaces and schools in European cities reduced levels of air pollution through less traffic and movement, while public events were cancelled and people stayed at home.

This led to less nitrogen dioxide (NO2) polluting the air, with Spanish, French and Italian cities experiencing the biggest decreases in NO2 of 50% to 60% during the period.”

Maybe it’s a benefit of the pandemic but how does it bear comparison with statistics for those who died of the pandemic. Maybe we can find something similar for Brexit.

Arguments about vaccination continue, amazingly!  Here’s a report from The London Economic yesterday:

“Rock star Eric Clapton has sparked further outrage online after claiming people who have had the Covid vaccine are victims of “mass formation hypnosis.”

It comes as Neil Young has told Spotify to delete his music from the streaming service over their partnership with Joe Rogan.

In a now-deleted letter posted on his website on Monday (24 January), the 76-year-old singer wrote that he does not appreciate Spotify’s affiliation with Rogan and his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, which is spreading “false information” regarding Covid-19 vaccines.

Clapton previously claimed he suffered “disastrous” side effects allegedly due to the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying his hands and feet were “either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless” and he feared he “would never play [the guitar] again.”

He also released an anti-lockdown single, “Stand and Deliver”, with Van Morrison in 2020.

Speaking to The Real Music Observer Clapton told the interviewer he didn’t get the “memo” – or information about “mass formation hypnoses” which began circulating among anti-vaxxers last year – when he received his vaccination.

“Then I started to realise there was really a memo, and a guy, Mattias Desmet [professor of clinical psychology at Ghent University in Belgium], talked about it,” Clapton continued. “And it’s great. The theory of mass formation hypnosis. And I could see it then.””

I suppose there have always been people who are easily persuaded that conspiracy theories are the truth of the world!

As for me, I’ll go on accepting vaccination when offered. I’ll also continue to wear a mask in shops, even though the staff of our local coop seem to have given up on the idea. 

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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