Comprends, Entiendes, Capisci, Understand?

There are still the remains of sales in some local shops. I am looking for something in particular and  I was in the one shop that might just have provided it. I browsed the department upstairs where you find cushions, bedding, curtains and some menswear. So far no luck, I could not see what I wanted.  All the staff work downstairs, which is where  I found a shop assistant.  While I was asking, it occurred to me that she might not understand what I was looking for:

Me –“I am looking for a counterpane, do you have any?”   Assistant- “ Could you tell me what that might be?”

It seemed I was speaking a foreign language. I explain it is a bed-cover….she continues to look vacantly at me….. I’m thinking quickly about what might be the current trendy modern bed-cover translation and I tentatively suggest “A throw”.

Some comprehension dawns.  The assistant tells me there are no throws……“Throws are for Christmas”

🙂   ❓







The card rack I had been searching through, took up most of the length of the shop. There I was looking through cards at dark end of the rack where the more subdued message cards were displayed, when I noticed under the section titled ‘Get Well”, a white card with lots of fine silver design on the front. In the relative gloom, the sparkle of silver had caught my eye. Honestly, I could not believe what I was seeing.

First, why send or take a card to someone in hospital, which in bold silvery lettering tells the patient where s/he is, ‘You Are In Hospital’.

But in fact what it actually proclaimed on this card and every card like it, very loudly and in very thick silver letters, was:


My coughing fit drew out signs of life in the shop. The shop owner came out of a room, apologising for not noticing me. More like, she hadn’t seen me in the gloom. I showed her one of the offending cards at the same time opining on the state of affairs on the written standards of the English language.

“What…..” she looked really puzzled. It was obvious she could not see what I did.

I spoke the written words…shopkeeper was still no wiser.

Spelling, “Y-O-U-R in hospital”, is wrong. I explained how it should have been written and printed. In shopkeeper’s eyes a realisation visibly dawned. “It’s just awful”, I added.

There are a lot of awful things in the world“, shopkeeper said. I agreed, differentiating however, that linguistically, in my own language, this was another one of them.

I very much doubt I was her favourite customer of the day; not that I was much bothered,


Mulling over the future prospects of the children the conversation went as follows:

Mum: Pippa, my eldest…she’s 15…. she’s very average; she’s doing alright, but she’s average. She gave up the idea of becoming a pharmacist when she found she did not like chemistry and when someone said pharmacy could be a matter of life and death. Pippa said she couldn’t be responsible for that! She’s ever so good with children though. Maybe she’ll think about nursing, though I think in nursing there are a lot more life and death decisions.

My youngest, she’s different to her sister, she is okay and is really good with numbers. I think she should become an Accurist.

Instructions for keeping well, which should be read and understood before using snipe nosed pliers.



Justin Welby, Archbishop Of Canterbury, appears to be a more publicly outspoken priest for the oppressed masses than his recent predecessors seemed to be. I do not want to be a spoiler, but, I do wonder just what affects his words would have, uttered as they are, in these British Isles, far, far, away from the awful trouble spots that are exercising many of us. He rightly points out that the focus of destruction is not just on Christian communities, though, it is those which have come into our focus because the Christian religious group has appeared to be singled out for now, and has been suffering dreadfully. The Archbishop described the dead as Christian Martyrs. Justin Welby’s summary of the politics is interesting, as is his choice of language.

The Middle East is complex, it is a melting pot for which no single answer will do. As if to illustrate this. I heard the following report.

A report on BBC radio this morning highlighted the plight and fortitude of the Syrian refugee children, who, from the age of 4 years old, are taken by open lorries to work on farms, harvesting whatever is in the fields. Their work is unprotected and supervised by an overseer. Supervision consists of threatening to dock earnings if they do not fulfill their quotas of work. I do not know who sets those. When the children return to the camps they are given some schooling. The refugee community want their children to have some education, not to be totally disadvantaged and lost. It speaks volumes.

Saving the children is absolutely vital work. UNICEF are constantly fund raising to do more work to help them.


Our toaster gave up its elements to where ever toaster elements go. A web search produced relatively little, except expensive things, that didn’t seem worth the price. What’s in a name I growled to myself. On the continuing hunt for a new toaster, comparative shopping hubby called it, I was surprised at the choice available locally.

I really liked a relatively inexpensive, well made one I saw in a local grocery store, but it wouldn’t have fitted in the space available for a replacement toaster. It even had a bun warming rack, a feature I missed with the last one. In the end I plumped for a toaster that not only fits the space as if it were made for it, all the controls are at the right end, (no bun rack though) and it scanned at the till point £8 cheaper than the price label on the box, much to the assistant’s and my surprise. That made this toaster nearly £10 cheaper than at another store nearby. Amazing! 8|

The toaster’s controls tell you what they do, in English, instead of in the variable designs of international sign language that look like washing instructions for ‘warm up’, ‘defrost’ ‘cancel’ and ‘heat’ or, should that be ‘toast’.



It’s obviously that time of year again when all the would-be dissertation and essay writers start their scatter-gun spamming. (Should I have written these words, they can be tracked…oh dear, what the hell… Go for it!) These self-appointed writers flatter your blog in about half a sentence – I doubt they read it – and if they are really into brevity, they can flatter in three words!

The the self-styled writers who try to dump their spam on me, do not seem to promote thesis production. Perhaps a thesis could be too challenging. Do any of them offer scientific writing including all the formulae? I don’t believe this lot have the specialist skills for anything quite so esoteric. I would think that anyone wanting assistance in producing work at such levels, already has tried and trusted sources they use.

At least the wannabe who fired off the latest offer of work could write in regular English language, there were not any spelling errors, all of which leads me to be a bit more hopeful that the English language in its many interesting forms of daily use and practice, is alive, though, it is not always well.



It’s spamming time again from people (or bots) that cannot string sentences together with acceptable, appropriate and familiar syntax in written English. Would you wish such dubious talent to offer you assistance with your dissertation, or any writing you might require to do.

If these professional spammers wish to advertise themselves as competent to offer English language writing services, there are any amount of native writers here on BCUK, who could, for a fee, (up front) edit their language ability and teach them a thing or two about English as she is wrote.



One of the primates at the London Zoo is a German ‘understander’, having recently arrived from a German zoo. He is currently being ‘taught English’ but “he’s a bit slow” according to one of the German speaking staff “What do you expect from a gorilla” he said. |-|

What the Gorilla can do, sounds more advanced than what you find in the class room these days. Maybe the Gorilla, who is showing no sign of being interested in flirting with one of the lady gorillas, could teach our kids a thing or two about focus and communincation. It sounds to me as if the gorilla has those important learning skills. :yes:


We were mulling over the most unlikely of subjects this week; fractions. To be more specific, language and how its use has changed in some areas of common use, that is, common use to a particular generation.

So, if it is not politically correct to describe a top heavy fraction as ‘vulgar’ what is acceptable? We amused ourselves with brainstorming a number of permutations and you’ll be glad to know that we did arrive at the description currently being used. :>>

Understanding, or is it Something Else…

I thought I had a fair grasp of every day computer language but it appears I don’t. Tonight I decided to upload some music from my own CD’s on to my system. Nope, “You’re not doing that,” I am brutally informed, ” You are RIPPING your disk.” Ouch. Will my disk safely come out of this dreadful experience.

On the other hand, I was thinking about downloading something onto my system with the thought I might transfer whatever that might be, to equipment that was detatchable or totally detatched from the computer.

If I am not undertaking those actions, could somebody tell me please, what the appropriate terminology is so that I can communicate what I am doing. :??: