Bits and Bobs

Been here in England for a full week and I’m having a lot of fun. And working hard.

Ok. Mostly working hard.

But sneaking in a little fun where I can.

It appears that England’s newspaper industry is still going strong, and every morning I can hardly wait to read the latest edition of the Independent, known as the i, and the local Newbury newspaper too.

I love the Brit sense of humor, and I also love the i’s ability to report every little bit of local news with both journalistic seriousness and humor. I’d read more US newspapers if they gave me a little chuckle now and again.

Here’s a few clips from just this last week.

The Fonz and Me. That’s right, the same day I arrived, The Fonz was in town. He was visiting a primary school and promoting reading. Go Fonz! I’m not kidding when I say this was front page news.

Civic pride.This story made me laugh out loud on the train. I actually startled the young businessman sitting next to me.

It seems the mayor of a fairly small town decided that when it came time to greet the Olympic torch, she wanted to really bring forward the pride of Louth to the world.

So she dressed up as a sausage.

Read the short clip, especially the last line.

Very descriptive.As an avowed linguaphile and word nerd, I love, love, love listening to the Brits speak and their colloquialisms.

This is just the end of an article complaining about HSBC Bank’s new piped in music and adverts.

In the last two columns are the phrases “cock-up” and “crap the music altogether” that I want to use.

A lot.

“Hey boss, it looks like my team cocked-up the invoices this month, can we just crap the May payments altogether?”

I’m gonna guess US HR is gonna say no to that.

Stop or I’ll say stop again. And finally, this is my favorite. I’ve shown this photo to everyone who will look at it and even the locals shake their heads.

Here’s how I understand the story: the town of Newbury wants to cut down on people drinking way too much then getting rambunctious, so to that end, local bartenders have all agreed not to serve people who are already drunk.

Great, fair enough.

The article goes on to say, “Newbury Pubwatch has also introduced the concept of a warning letter which is hand delivered when an individual has been involved in a drink-related incident.”

Um. A letter?

That’s gonna curtail the hooliganism. I’m sure if it.

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  • Ur bro

    Amazing how after living in the commonwealth for four years, not only do I drive on the wrong side of the road but many britisms have crept into my daily usage. I ride the lift, put the shopping in the boot, tell my colleague to piss off because he is a tosser, etc…l

  • Scott

    Yeah, isn’t it amazing to be in a place where a respect of knowledge, words and wit is still not only present but somewhat revered? Astonishing. And makes it very hard to come back from after you’ve been in it awhile, I’ve found. I took a tour of the BBC radio station where all the shows I listen to on-line all day come from and I asked them, point blank, is radio still a viable entity there? Our guide said but of course, it’s hoisted up by government money, still going strong and shows no signs of slowing down. Just imagine, hard to believe as it is. Dunno if you’ve noticed but they still have book and music stores there too–not a lot but more than here, certainly. And theater is alive and well, not just the “Backstreet Boys: The Musical!” variety either. Yup, it’s a grand ol’ town…

  • Frank Conway

    I hear the BBC every night while I’m driving and it does a pretty good job of covering the world, albeit with certain biases which you’d only pick up on if you read a lot of world news and critical analysis of the news (if I do say so) but it does put our public radio to shame. In its defense NPR has been wracked by political struggles over its funding and content and they are unsure of how to cover a lot of things. I don’t share the angliphilican view of the Brisith (having not quite got over that time they sailed up the Potomac and burned down the US capital) but the idea that a well informed public is essential to the functioning of a democracy which has been lost here is still intact there, and that’s a very good thing.

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