This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Thing To Do Today: some psephology.

File:Pebble stack.jpg
Pebbles arranged and photographed by Zzubnik

Gosh, there are elections and referendums* causing ructions over the place, aren't there.

But what's best? Who's best? Who's least-bad? 

What if the least attractive candidate has the best policy? 

What if everyone who seeks great power is basically unhinged?

Is how I vote dependent upon my level of education and/or intelligence? 

Or on my character?

Will I have any friends left if I admit to voting Pro-Weasel? Or Anti-Weasel?

Why are all the candidates weasels?

And, of course, most of all: 

Who's going to win?

Psephology is the statistical and sociological study of elections. My chief regret, actually, is that votes are no longer cast, as in Ancient Greece, with pebbles. I would have loved to have seen the lorries full of pebbles trundling down the roads, and all the people leaning out of their bedroom windows to cast a sly extra pebble as they went past.

Ah well, it may all be a bit of a circus, but at least we get to enjoy the tight-rope walkers, the strongmen, and the clowns.

Don't we.

Thing To Do Today: some psephology. This word comes from the Greek psephos, which means pebble.

*Saying referenda will get you extra points with those who know a little Latin, but lose you points with those who know rather more. Referendum doesn't have a plural in Latin.

On the other hand, there are a lot more people who only know a little Latin...

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