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July 16, 2006
Aside from stealing the odd photo of mine, Never Mind the Full Stops often annoys me with some of its comments on spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Here are some examples from the two most recent episodes:
He's the presenter. His attitude is just a little grating at times; things like him trying to be hip, and being stuck in the past for one sentence then talking about "moving on" in the next.
Plus he insists on pronouncing "dialects" as "Daleks"; every time they get to the round where they showcase (some may say "mock") two regional dialects I always think he's talking about Doctor Who…
ManservantUPDATE: Just rewriting this paragraph, because a dictionary–consult showed I'd fallen into the same trap as the 5 people on the show. I just want to apologise to the question setters: you're not idiots, you got it right.
Sorry, I was wrong, it shouldn't be "manservants", it should be "menservants". The people on the show were wrong when they criticised the answer. So, it's the panelists and Julian Fellowes that are the fools and not the question–setters (well, I say "now"; it's always been that way, I just didn't realise because I'd fallen into the same trap, as it were…).
I love the Oxford Comma. I think it's useful, worthwhile, and really helps with the understanding of written lists. If you don't know what it is, it's the comma before the "and" in my previous sentence. I don't believe there are any grammatical rules covering it, but I feel its effect justifies its use.
The 5 people on the show, however, said it was pointless and useless (well, words to the effect).
They cannot in all seriousness possibly tell me that "I have eaten fish and chips and bangers and mash" is preferable to "I have eaten fish and chips, and bangers and mash"...
Orange, Purple, Silver, and Month
The question was "what's special about these words?" the answer, to which they all agreed, was "they have no English rhymes" which is just not true.
I can't disagree with orange and month, but "silver" and "purple" do have rhymes.
Purple: Admitedly "hirple" and "curple" are technically Scottish words – the first meaning "to walk lamely", and the second being, apparently, a strap near the back–end on a horse's saddle – and the question said "English", but this is a rhyme that comes from within Great Britain, so I say my point still stands…
Silver: A "chilver" is an Old English noun meaning a "ewe lamb" that is still in use in some southern dialects (I actually saw it on signs and possibly a hotel thing – I can't really remember what it was – in Bolsover as I was on my way down to Warwick for Graduation.)
I'm glad I got that off my chest…