It has been nice to see that previous LLI postings have struck a chord with people, but I’m not sure if the latest in this occasional series will have quite the same resonance as it is probably my most petty irritant. It’s the new car number plate system.
Actually, the system isn’t that new having been with us for about four years, it’s just become more irritating for me because there are more and more vehicles with the new style plates and less of the old style.
And why? One of the things I do to break the monotony of the drive to and from work is to try use the letters on the car in front into a word or phrase. And here’s the most important bit — that the letters should appear in the word in the same order as they do on the plate.
This is becoming harder and harder with the new plates. Apart from the added complication of the extra letter, the combination of letters often makes a word impossible to find. Look at the example above. Any offers of a word, at least one that isn’t in Swahili?
By the way, as far as I can make out, the Swahili for number plate is ‘idadi rasisi’ but I could be wrong. I often am.