Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Spell it like you say it?

GOOD mawning children, wat a nice day and I hope yuu are reddy faw yaw spelling test.

We will get reddy with a few words to warm up with witch I hope you egrii will help.
There will be some nyuu words to widen yaw vijen but others will be the seym ones we have praktised.

All joking aside, it does take a bit of getting used to doesn’t it, but my rough attempt at phonetic spelling might soon be quite a serious part of school life in the Weymouth and Portland area if a national campaign to introduce phonetic spelling continues to gain ground.

I don’t agree with it because I feel it will debase our language but I’m not a teacher, I don’t have the task of educating children and some of those who do feel simplifying the way we spell would be a help.

Quite whether changing “exit” to “egzit” or “relation” to “rileyshen” is the way to go is still open to debate but it is being considered whether you like... sorry, “layk” it or not to “kwowt” some of the suggestions.

Hopefully it will never see widespread use but I flag it up because these things have a habit of creeping up and suddenly being there. So keep your ayes open.

Looking forward to some wassail jam

I THOUGHT you’d all like a bit of up to date news that the fruit harvest in Preston is now safe.

Yes, yes, I know wassailing is hardly fresh news because it’s been about since the Middle Ages, but it has been revived in Preston to ward off evil spirits such as developers from a piece of land recently planted as an orchard.

The idea is that you sing, dance, drink mulled wine, cider and fruit juice and sort of... wassail, blessing the fruit trees for a good harvest.

I’m all in favour of looking after anything which might produce  a decent jam or preferably cider.

And if making a bit of noise is part of that then I’m sure it is a lot more socially acceptable than drunks reeling home at 2.00am while treating the street to a chorus of My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean only using some less than bonny football chant words instead.

Wassail comes from an ancient Anglo Saxon phrase meaning “good health” and wassail was originally a drink made from mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar. Not sure about the curdled cream but the rest sounds OK.

It is an interesting example of how a suburban community can bring the countryside and its traditions closer to home and have fun at the same time.

Tough trading times persist

QUITE what Weymouth’s main shopping streets will look like by Easter is anybody’s guess but the talk on the streets is that some businesses may find it tough to survive.

Organisations such as Weymouth Business Improvement District are doing their best to attract more people into the town, but if there is nothing there to hold them then they’ll be leaving almost as fast as they arrived.

Much emphasis has been placed on higher footfall and more events and attractions to boost the town’s economy yet you can’t have shoppers without shops and there is a growing feeling that enterprises are being squeezed harder or actually forced to move or shut down altogether because their rent has been sharply increased.

At least four enterprises have talked to me about that so it is not an isolated occurrence.

The BID is already into its second year of five, council cutbacks and partnership savings continue and the era of austerity shows no sign of cutting anyone a bit of slack.

So it will be interesting to see how the shopping streets manage to fare over the next three months before the first “green shoots” of the new summer season start to appear.

Not so affectionate workplace nicknames

A WEYMOUTH man has contacted me about a few nicknames for people he has come across which, I’m sure, strike a chord with the rest of us.

That annoying man at work who always answers a direct question with:  “I’ll get back to you”? The Boomerang Kid.

The person who lets everyone down at the last minute? The Parachute.

Someone who constantly says: “Let me put you in the picture”? Rembrandt.

That person who washes his hands of any problems that crop up? Soapy.

Someone who always seems to be off work sick? The Yeti... because there are many unconfirmed sightings but no-one can prove he actually exists.

Finally – and perhaps my favourite – The Hostage. Why so called? Because every time you go to him for help he says: “Sorry, my hands are tied.”

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