Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Writing - Lexiphiles, Tourists and Robin Williams

I love words, well I must do or wouldn't spend so much time using them. My parents, Dad in particular, were ultra keen on the correct use of English. This blog today is a pot pourri of language and how it is used by people and also a requiem for Robin Williams.

To begin with a bit of fun for those who love punning.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles  U.C.L.A.
The batteries were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and
A will is a dead giveaway.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old
was resisting a rest.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

The point of including this in a writing blog is to remind us scribes to take care. A well placed pun can be highly amusing but overuse can also be annoying.

The English Abroad

I remember holidaying on Rhodes with the family about twenty years ago. We have travelled abroad a few times and have tried to 'do as the locals do' but have frequently been astounded and embarrassed at some English people's behaviour. The breakfast in our hotel was Greek and included fresh meats, cheeses and Madeira cake with natural Greek yoghurt and local honey. The food was delicious, the weather was great and the local people were brilliant. Imagine my surprise at a conversation overheard in a nearby cafe we'd entered for late morning drinks.
The family, two adults and two children, entered the establishment talking loudly. It began with,
"I hope we can a decent breakfast in here!"
I'd seen these people in our hotel so knew that they had the same choices we had for the first meal of the day. They went on to complain about the lack of bacon and eggs and breakfast cereal etc etc. To people like that I say buy a sun lamp and go to Blackpool they'll save themselves a fortune.

Some more fun tourist complaints.


1. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits (cookies) like custard creams or ginger nuts."

2. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time -- this should be banned."

3. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food."

4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price."

5. "The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room."

6. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but, it was more yellow."

7. "They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax."

8. "No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared."

9. "Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no 
egg-slicer in the drawers."

10. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."

"The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun."

12. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

13. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends' three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller."

14. "The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the resort,' We're trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service."

15. "When we were in Spain there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners."

16. "We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning."

17. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

18. "I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes."

19. "My fiance and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."


Some truly amazing people on this Earth.

Turning to someone who is no longer with us on this Earth.

Robin Williams 1951 - 2014

A man who gave me many hours of amusement and entertainment and I know I'm not alone in that. Yet another example of the nature of depression. The health people round the world continually fail to understand the nature of depression. As someone who lost nine months of work due to clinical depression I know that it never goes away but is often compartmentalised in the mind so that life can be coped with.
I loved most of Robin William's films but the one aspect of the man that should be celebrated was his tremendous intelligence. I leave you with this quote from Robin on the struggles of modern man,

"See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time."

On VG today:

God Bless Robin