These Doors are Alarmed

A couple of weeks in the UK brings with it the questionable delight of receiving texts to my mobile phone. Received 15:24, from my son’s school. Reminder: Remembrance Service tomorrow. All welcome. Please arrive by 1020, for a 1030 start. There will be a retiring collection.

Received 15:25, from the mother of one of Archie’s friends (not a native English speaker): Who is retiring? How do I find out, so that I know how much to contribute for the gift?

Anyone who dares say that language is dull should consider the mental obstacle course our brains have to negotiate each day to make sense of the idioms and phrases that we most often take for granted. I personally rather like the fact that there is so much room for errors in communication. After the texts, I spent a few minutes side-tracked from Carnaby book Two, compiling a list of possible retirees. It reminded me of how much my father used to love those signs that read: ‘Caution, this doors is alarmed.’


This week,

Carnaby’s Off-Kilter Prize goes to Dutch designer Joep Van Lieshou for CasAnus, his odd little hotel in the shape of the lower intestine. The gutsy project is located in Belgium – half way between Antwerp and Ghent.

While The Brabbler’s Sizzling Squib for Endangered Words goes to linguist David Crystal for his humourous and insightful book: Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 (Published Oxford University Press, October 2009)

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