This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Thing Not To Do Today: gerrymander.

Who is the greatest children's author in the English-speaking world, ever?

Well, let's have a vote.

Okay, everyone, hands up: who is the greatest children's writer in the English-speaking world, ever?

What's that you say, madam? You're voting for E Nesbit, while muttering under your breath that it's a stupid and unanswerable question anyway?

Well, thank you very much. So there we are, ladies and gentlemen. We've had a free and fair vote, and E Nesbit has proved to be the greatest children's writer in the English-speaking world, ever.

It's true that the people qualified to vote were limited to those in the loft in which I'm presently typing, and, yes, the population of this room is presently, well, me, but it was a free and fair vote, as nobody can deny.

Gerrymandering: that is, drawing boundaries before a vote to make sure you get the right answer.

Eight out of ten cats are all for it.

Thing Not To Do Today: gerrymander. This word was used for the first time in the Boston Gazette on 26 March 1812. Governor Elbridge Gerry had redrawn the boundaries for the Massachusetts Congressional Districts to help his own cause, and one of the boundaries was so curvy some people said it looked like a salamander.


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