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!

SconesThe great debate: Having sorted out Europe, we can now get down to the important question of the day – should we pronounce the word ‘scone’ to rhyme with gone or bone? A YouGov survey reveals that 51% of us go for ‘gone’ while only 42% are in the ‘bone’ camp.

For the record, I prefer ‘bone’ but what I really want to know is how the missing 7% pronounce it.

Lonely planet: We parrots do get around a bit, but it can be a lonely life, especially if you were the only parrot to live in Siberia. It brings to mind the Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch but we have known for some time that the Norwegian Blue really did exist.

Blind refereeReferee! Despite the cries of ‘should have gone to Specsavers’ from the crowd, football referees are much more likely to make the correct call than we mere mortals and can even predict where a foul will happen.

The research by the University of Leuven in Belgium and Brunel University has published their findings in the journal Cognitive Research, complete with videos. Meanwhile, try the referee theory test to see how well you know the laws of the game.

Which face?Face facts: Which face did you spot in the drawing on the left? One online expert thinks your answer could change your life. While how you interpret these images will tell you whether you’re sex-obsessed or not.

Spot of Bozzer: Now that Boris Johnson hasn’t got the distraction of a Tory leadership campaign, he is back in his other job as a steward at Rochdale FC.

Mystery solved: I wrote in July about the mystery of the hordes of visitors to the town of Kidlington in Oxfordshire. Residents were baffled at why coachloads of Chinese tourists should be seen wandering their suburban streets. It seems it is: ‘being marketed by Chinese tourist agencies as a beautiful English village on the way to Bicester Village shopping centre’.

Early tv makeupTV times: This week marks the 80th anniversary of the launch of the world’s first television service by the BBC. The presenter required bizarre makeup more suited to Halloween was required simply to be seen as this video explains.

Knickers: Underwear that once belonged to Eva Braun is expected to raise £450 at auction, although this is a bit of a drop since they were first spotted last year.

Media hype of the week: The Science Channel in America reports that scientists have solved the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, except that the scientists then said they had done no such thing. But why let the truth get in the way of a good story eh?

Brief lives: Tom Hayden civil rights activist and Mr Jane Fonda; Prince Mikasa of Japan; Spitfire pilot Molly Rose; songwriter Claude ‘Curly’ Putman whose hits included D-I-V-O-R-C-E;

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.

6 comments… Add yours
  • Roger Green 6th November 2016

    If you’ve heard Skin and Bones by the Kinks, scones HAS to rhyme with bones!

  • Trevor Rowley 6th November 2016

    They seem to be telling us that in the “North” we largely go for the “gone” pronunciation for scones. Well, in my part of the North, it was almost totally the “bone” pronunciation – anyone using the “gone” pronunciation would be seen as a bit like pretentious snobs or even just pretending to be cultured when we knew that they were just as “raggy arsed” as we were.

    As for tourists (as in the Chinese) turning up and taking pictures of themselves posing outside your house, it happened regularly ouside my house for years. When the local cotton and woollen mills were still in full production, it wasn’t uncommon to encounter family groups of local Asian families (mostly Bangladeshis who were employed in the mills) out for a Sunday afternoon stroll. They would then busy themselves with a series of posed photographs outside my ornamental, wrought iron front gate. No doubt the photographs found their way back to Bangladesh to show the extended family back home how well they were prospering in their new country. The photographs of my front gate surrounded by neatly trimmed laurels and holly and various other bushes are probably still adorning the living room walls back at Uncle Ali’s or Aunty Hajra’s.

    I was in India some years back and was staying briefly in the city of Ajmer in Rajasthan. One day we took in some of the local tourist attractions, including Lake Ana Sagar. Built as a man-made lake in the twelfth century, it is surrounded in parts by beautiful ornamental gardens and marble walkways. In 1637, Shah Jahan (he of Taj Mahal fame) erected a number of marble pavillions, or bandaris, adjacent to part of these walkways. After we had had our usual series of posed photographs, with the lake in the background of course, I was idly sat on the wall overlooking the lake when an Indian family group came towards me. Out for the day, enjoying the weather just like me,they were chuckling amongst themselves. A daughter of the family, probably aged about sixteen or seventeen, coyly sidled up to me and posed alongside me for a series of photographs. I have been mistaken for film-maker, Richard “Dickie” Attenborough before now – but what the attraction for the young Indian lady was on that particular day, I’ll never know.

  • Yorkshire Pudding 7th November 2016

    In Yorkshire, it is always a scone as in “gone”. Only posh people use the “bone” pronunciation. The other 7% call it “one of them buns with currants in”. I hope that oaf Johnson is better at being a steward at Rochdale F.C. than he was at being The Mayor of London.

  • Mr Parrot 7th November 2016

    Scone is possibly the most peculiar word in the English language, at least as far as pronunciation is concerned, Despite the YouGov survey, there seems to be no rhyme or reason why some go for the bone or gone version. It doesn’t seem to be a regional or a class thing, as Trevor and Neil illustrate when they say that the opposite of the way they say scone is considered ‘posh’.

  • Trevor Rowley 7th November 2016

    …as the saying goes, “They’re queer up North.”


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