More from the blog that confidently sets out to answer every possible question in the universe, but struggles a bit when it comes to setting realistic goals.
Julian asked Has anybody ever built a triple-decker bus?
When in 1897 Hennimore Phayres invented the double-decker omnibus he became the toast of London. Fame suited him, and he rode around his native Clapham on the top deck of one of his creations telling anyone who would listen of his inventing prowess. Phayres tried to repeat his success the following year with a triple-decker bus and in order not to fall foul of local planning bye-lays he expanded the passenger accommodation on his buses downwards to form a basement. Hennimore’s magnificent new vehicles were fully twenty-three feet from top to bottom, but seven feet of this was below road level and the new buses required an extensive network of trenches which played havoc with the sewer system and in the end the project was abandoned. Fearing disgrace and financial ruin Phayres absconded with a large quantity of bus company funds and was never seen again, though for many years enraged bus company employees persistently searched the capital’s buses shouting his name.
Miss Pear Where is the lid?
Don’t look at me. I’m not the one helping myself to jam at 11.00 at night. No don’t do that face. You’d look a lot less guilty without a smear of raspberry up your nose.
@tommo121 Since the construction of 'the gherkin' in London, sales of gherkins and other pickles have risen. So why aren't other vegetable-shaped buildings "cropping up" everywhere?
It’s not for want of trying. Residents of Dorset still remember with dismay The Swanage Caulifower, a two-hundred foot high steel and concrete floret that for a time was headquarters to the World Brassica Corporation. For much of the 70s the building dominated the small seaside town until a freak accident at a nearby dairy-processing plant during a high wind resulted in the structure being coated in a thick layer of melted cheese, rendering it simultaneously uninhabitable and delicious. The ghastly story of the Epping Swede is too horrific to go into in a family blog.
Nance Is the apostrophe becoming a banished mark in grammar? I see there replacing they're and its for it's (or worse dont for don't) in numerous texts, tweets, and emails. Is this some kind of bigger plot against the maligned point of punctuation? What's to be done?
It is well known that spelling in Shakespeare’s day was based on a system of free-form improvisation. What is perhaps less well-documented is the state of punctuation in those happy times. Look at any writing from the 17th century and you will see it was populated by exotic and imaginative punctuation marks roaming more or less at will: commas and full stops existed in abundance of course, though they were wilder in those days; but there were pilcrows too, and tildes, hederas, guillemets, and even here or there a mighty capitulum. And then the dark times came. Distrustful of the apparent free-for-all in 1732 a coterie of wealthy grammarians lead by Trismegistus Stickler, an apostrophe manufacturer from Leatherhead, petitioned parliament to adopt the Great Punctuation Act, containing “Four Hundred and Twenty-Seven Simple Rules for the Correct Arrangement of His Majesty’s English.” Overnight people who had happily punctuated words as the mood took them were made to feel that whatever they wrote was somehow bound to be wrong. And that oppression continues to this very day. For years the flame of resistance was kept alive only on grocery stall price-tags for potato’s. ¶But now with a mighty randomly ~ punctuated «ROAR» the fight^back is beginning ⁄ Join us & victory shall be our’s §
becca_mcgee If we're not supposed to put cotton buds into our ears what exactly are we supposed to do with them?
They are for brightening up your bathroom. Put the cotton buds in a vase with some water and they will bloom into cotton blossoms. They look pretty in an arrangement with chrome-plated shower roses and a spray of Cif.
That's all for November's instalment as I see it is now December. But why not defy the relentless encroachment of time by asking this blog a question of your own in the space below?