Sunday Round-up

My round-up of news, events and stuff and nonsense from the last seven days –
if it’s news to me, it must be news to you!

Spic and SpanPC outrage of the week: The Clean for the Queen campaign was accused of racism by missing the letter K from its ‘Spic and Span’ slogan. The word ‘spic’ is a derogatory term used in the US for a Spanish-speaking person, but I can’t say I’ve heard it in the UK, except on American tv imports.

But ‘spick and span’ both with and without the ‘K’ is okay by the Oxford Dictionary, so there.

Ducking the issue: The town of Roses in Catalonia has voted to ban its century-old duck throwing competition, following protests by animal rights campaigners, one of whom was assaulted with a live duck last year.

Exclamation mark flowchartWhat! How!: Oh no! We’re all using too many exclamation marks!! It’s getting out of hand!!! Says the Department of Education!!!! Of course, the Daily Mail objected on principle to such state-sponsored syntax, but actually the DoE has a point, as noted by Time magazine in 2014 and Grammarly last year. So if in doubt, refer to the handy cut-out and keep flow chart on the right.

Contraceptive of the week: Teenage pregnancy rates have halved since the inception of social media, so we have something to thank Messrs Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter et al for. So whatever happened to feckless youth?

Lost marbles of the week: The man who makes music with a marvellous wooden contraption and 2,000 marbles has had over 10m viewers so far, although I think he cheats with the guitar.

Pick up a penguin: A Patagonian penguin swims 5,000 miles every year to visit the Brazilian fisherman who saved his life in 2011.

The War RoomBrief lives: Nancy Reagan, former first lady and suspected communist sympathiser; George Martin, the ‘fifth’ Beatle who once thought their music was rubbishRay Tomlinson, the man who invented email; Tony Dyson, special effects expert and creator of R2-D2 and James Bond’s jetpack; Michael White, the stage and film producer behind Oh! Calcutta!, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the Rocky Horror (Picture) Show;

Ken Adams, the Oscar-winning set designer who created the iconic war room in Dr Strangelove, James Bond’s Moonraker and Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang; and Keith Emerson, co-founder of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Engineering feat of the week: Finally, a drone’s eye view of the 250-mile long, 40-foot high seawall being built at a cost of £4.6 billion to protect the coast of Japan from another tsunami like the one that struck in 2011.

Not everyone is happy about it as it will spoil their sea view.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

7 comments… Add yours
  • John g 13th March 2016

    Dont let trump see that sea wall,
    He’ll get more ideas for that one of his own

  • Yorkshire Pudding 14th March 2016

    Another fascinating look at the last week. As your old Chemistry teacher probably uttered on numerous occasions, “You are a very clever boy Ian!” (And he used an exclamation mark for obvious reasons!)

  • Elizabeth 14th March 2016

    I love that music marble machine…

  • e 15th March 2016

    I saw that music marble contrition and decided that if I ever lost my marbles, I’d know where they’d gone. No exclamation marks needed.

  • e 15th March 2016

    oops! I meant contraption!

  • rhymeswithplague 15th March 2016

    Here in the U.S. there used to be a laundry detergent called Spic and Span, but I haven’t seen it in many years.

  • Steve 16th March 2016

    That Spic and Span thing is ridiculous. As RhymesWithPlague (above) pointed out, Spic N’ Span is a cleanser in the U.S. We used to buy it all the time when I was a kid, though I have no idea whether or not it’s still around. I have never seen the phrase “spic and span” spelled with a k.


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