Saturday, 1 June 2013



It was a pleasure to post Will Lake’s thought-provoking guest-blog last week. Hopefully I can entice him to contribute more of the same in the future.

However, I do feel obliged to point out one important factor that Will left out. Namely, the different classes of English we native speakers employ. There’s pulpit-speak, cockney-speak, academia-speak, cops-speak, legalese,  journalese, and a host of other varieties of English that I’m sure leave the language learner bamboozled no end. Let me illustrate what I mean, by way of a well-known fairy-tale….


NCE upon a time, there was a little girl named Little Red Riding Hood. One day her mother said to her, “Little Red, grandmother is sick today, so I want you to take this basket of goodies to her. But be careful, there’s a big bad wolf in the forest”.

And so Little Red Riding Hood set off through the forest, whistling a happy little tune to herself as she went…

Thus didst this trusting young child roam freely through the forest, marveling at the verdant riches therein; the rich hues of the foliage, the succulence of the new shoots emerging from the forest floor, the beauty of the newly-bloomed flowers, and the colorful plumage of the birds that wheeled in the skies above. Verily, I say unto you, Brethren, this parable is a testament to the bounteous riches that the Good Lord….

Cor Blimey, I mean, this story is a load of old cobblers, innit. Wot mother in her right bleedin mind would let her kid wander in the forest all on her tod, when she knows bleedin well there’s a big bad wolf lurking about? No, it’s all piffle if you ask me.

The behavior of the animal under discussion, namely the wolf, raises a number of questions. One cannot help asking what motivated this individual wolf to behave in such a manner? What lay behind its inclination to devour solitary minors of the female gender? Could it have simply been a depleted supply of its customary food source? Or was there some other deep, underlying cause for such behavior? A history of childhood abuse perhaps? Bed-wetting? The implications are endless.

Strewth, the mother lets a young Sheila go wandering in the forest all by herself? Mum’s got to be a few prawns short of a Barbie. 

Notice is hereby served upon Mr B. B. Wolf (the Second Party) that if his behavior (to wit: the preying upon unaccompanied minors in a public domain) does not cease and desist forthwith, legal proceedings will be instituted against him without further notice.


Thursday. A 34-year old woodcutter, James
 (“Woodie”) Smith of Massachusetts, yester-
day killed a 95-kilogram black bear, thereby
saving the life of 84-year-old grandmother
Mrs K.M. Hood Snr of Connecticut. Smith
declined to be interviewed, protesting, “I’m
no hero. I just did what anyone else would do
when happening upon a grandmother strug-
gling for her life inside a wolf’s intestines.”

Upon arriving at the scene at 3:49 pm, I saw the body of a large animal, black in color, and distinctly wolf-shaped. This I concluded was the alleged perpetrator. Also in attendance at the crime scene were….

If you only read one book this year, read 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James. But if you’re casting around for a second book, EFL minus the B.S. is a good read.

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