Thinking Strange Thoughts - False Names

Many years ago, when I was stationed in Hong Kong in the army, local tailors would visit the camp to see if anyone would like a suit or a pair of pants. Now even though soldiers don’t have a lot of use for a suit, the tailors were very persuasive and quite a few blokes ended up ordering one. The suits would be fitted and made and delivered and because soldiers abroad often don’t carry much money, you would sign your name in a book and agree to pay what you owed at the end of the tour.

I’ll always remember at the end of the tour we were on parade and our troop officer finished his speech with “Oh by the way the visiting tailors have reported that the following men owe them money, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, John F Kennedy, Fred Flintstone” etc.

Now the reason I mention this is because I’ve been thinking about the English language and obviously if these tailors had had a better grasp of the English language they may not have got ripped off. Mind you I’m certainly not blaming them, I mean I was born in England and I haven’t got a clue what half of it is about. Look at all the words that are pronounced the same but spelt differently, like, to and too and two, or there and their. Another difficulty you would have if you were learning the language would be all the words that have silent letters. For example, the L in calm, the P in receipt and of course the W in Woger Wabbit.

Also people say things that don’t make any sense, consider this, “A rose by any other name would still be a rose” now whoever wrote this was obviously an idiot, I mean if a rose was called a septic tank would it still be the same?, I think not. Who would want to go around smelling septic tanks in the springtime? Who would want to wear a septic tank in their buttonhole at a wedding? I think you can see where I’m coming from.

Take an orange, its name is the same as its colour. If it were blue would it still be called an orange or would it be called a blue and why isn’t a banana called a yellow.

Yes its all fascinating stuff, mind you if you think that the English language is a bit complex you should try learning Outer Mongolian. The amazing thing about Outer Mongolia is that they do not have a word for “carrot” Often when you are in a greengrocers in Outer Mongolia, you will hear people say something like ‘I’ll have two kilo’s of onions, a kilo of sprouts and four of those orangey, pointy things”

At least we have a word for “carrot” so I suppose I shouldn’t complain, incidentally, those lads who gave false names to the tailors were very naughty, obviously I wasn’t involved and would never condone the use of giving false names like that.

All the best..Bugs Bunny


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