Sunday, 20 February 2022

Things going in threes. Attempts to control language.

One of my granddaughters, clearly trying to cheer us all up (!) tells me that Storm Franklin in on its way. That’s three storms on the run! Just a little excessive! 

In parallel, journalist Andrew Rawnsley tells us, “Britain has had royal, political and policing scandals before, but never all three at once.”

There you go. My mother always used to say that things go in threes! 

And for those who are interested, the news is just out that the queen has tested positive for Covid. It was the first item on the one o’ clock news on the radio. In line with latest guidelines she is going to continue with light duties. What are things coming to when a 95 (96?) year old has to continue working? Maybe they’re going from the sympathy vote to draw our attention away from scandals.

Latest guidelines are being reviewed even as I write. Our leader will address the nation tomorrow. Meanwhile I have made a mental note to pick up more lateral flow tests before they start charging us for them.

As regards the weather, I listened to the rain hammering down this morning, re-set my alarm for rather later, turned over and went back to sleep! The day has not improved since then. I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere. 

On the food programme just now they have been talking about coffee. Apparently caffeine can protect us against cancer. Who knew? They were hunting for a particular type of coffee plant that had more or less disappeared. Having located it, they made just enough coffee for a group of tasters to slurp. It was deemed good and tasty. Now they want to cultivate some more and introduce it to a wider public. We shall see. 

One of the researchers put himself on a caffeine free diet - cold turkey - as part of his project to see how coffee affects us. He declares all coffee drinkers addicted and recommends a period of abstinence so that you can enjoy your coffee-hit when you start to drink it again. I once had a colleague who used to do the same with alcohol!

Back in 2017 it seems there was a petition to the UK Parliament which asked to “remove all French words from the cover of new British passports”.

This is what it said: The [UK’s] vote to leave the EU means people voted to Take Back Control. Control of their borders, their culture and their language.

“Whether ‘Dieu et mon droit’ and ‘Honi qui mal y pense’ have existed as mottos in England for ages is irrelevant.

“French is an EU language and has no place on a UK passport.”

However, the wording of the petition page consisted almost entirely of words of French or Norman origin… it’s hard to speak nothing but ancient Anglo-Saxon. It really came to nothing as far as I know.

Now Marine Le Pen is making similar demands about French. Presumably as part of her bid to become president of France, she has said that France should “save” its national language by banning “foreign languages in advertising and communication”. That will be hard but she’ll have a go if the French vote for her. Of course, it’s not just language that bothers her but the country being “invaded” by other cultures. “In certain districts it is not only another France which is settling in, with its own laws, its own customs, its own mores, it is also another language,” she noted.

She has come in for some fun-poking as a result of this, with suggestions that she needs to change her name from Le Pen to Le Stylo. Indeed!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone! 

No comments:

Post a Comment