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Thursday, 16 June 2011

The unchecked box: a rant.

I've made a terrible mistake.

I don't know when it was, or even exactly what I did - whether I checked a box that should have been left blank, or failed to read the Terms and Conditions - but I've brought down a dreadful torrent upon myself.

Well, an intermittent dribble, anyway.

Good morning ma'am (DON'T call an Englishwoman ma'am: unless you're talking to the Queen it comes over as sarcasm. And don't try it on an an Englishman, either) we are conducting a survey...

And it's not even true. The person on the other end of the phone is almost certainly NOT conducting a survey, but trying to get me to give money to distressed ex-costermongers, or to avail myself of a unique opportunity to acquire a solar-powered squirrel-cleaner or something.

And if it is a survey, then I shall probably be asked (as I once was) how feminine I think my toilet cleaner is. Or, during a stay in hospital, how satisfactory was my pain?

Surely the time has come to strike back at all this lunacy, and therefore my very great respect goes to the large number of teenagers who recently answered a survey about favourite reads by putting THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR top of their lists.

I hope they all enjoyed the resulting angst about reading standards!

Word To Use Today: survey. This word is from the French word surveoir, which is in turn from the Latin sur, which means over or beyond or something like that, and vidēre, which means to see.

They're mostly conducted by people who couldn't see over a garden fence if it was three inches high and made of perspex.

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