Low life

Odd dogs and Englishmen

In my experience a long coat on a man is often a sign of mental instability. Frankie’s brown woollen overcoat was so long he kept stepping on the hem and treading it into the mud. Jim did the introductions. Frankie took no notice of my name, calling me ‘laddie’ instead. Then he said he’d got

More from life

Your problems solved | 21 February 2004

Dear Mary… Q. When one is present at a dinner party where a politician is a fellow guest, I have noticed a tendency for the politician to hold forth with a monologue which brooks no interruption or response from would-be interlocutors. There is nothing party political about this — it seems to happen across the

Mind your language

Mind your language | 21 February 2004

I blushed to learn I had been wrong all my life. ‘Though Sir William Golding consistently pronounced the word as contsh in a lecture that he gave on The Lord of the Flies at the University of Oxford in 1990,’ says Professor Robert Burchfield in his New Fowler’s, ‘the more usual standard pronunciation is conk.’