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Remember 'fun'?

Ahhh Runnymede and argot. Much has fortunately changed with the English language, forsooth, since that day in the paddock in 1647 and good golly gosh, how glad I am that the language has not stood still. And nor should it, for English is now the international language, as obtuse as Dr Seuss and so bingo, full of lingo, with more kiddies knowing of a Gruffalo than did those of my youth (and Runnymede's?) a Pushmepullyu.

The marvellous wordsmith Ogden Nash said that every time he needed a particular word, he made one up to fit the rhyme: "A panther is a leopard, who hasn't been peppered, If you see a panther crouch, prepare to say ouch, if called by a panther, don't anther." No, not the Queen's English, then neither was Sarah Palin's "refudiate" but the meaning was readily understood, and isn't that the essence of communication.

I am sure that in Runnymede's lifetime he would have run into new words and yes, jargon, and no doubt he was AOK with that. So fair suck of the sav, mate; a steer is a direction, guide or tip, and a bum is rather self-evident, so a bum steer is simply "bad advice."

Labour not the lexicon, Magnum Carter (Was that Dirty Harry?) language is also for having fun ... even for old Woosters, by Jove ... or should that really be Jeeves?


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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Oct 1, 2013
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