Ice cream ‘meltdown’ leading to illicit 99s?

13 05 2006

Writing about web page,,1-2-2170199-2,00.html

Ah well, another fond childhood memory bites the dust. And it seems that, for once, it’s not being pinned on European legislation.


FOR 60 years the tinny jingle of Greensleeves that announced the arrival of the ice–cream van has been an indelible memory of childhood, but that sound may soon be removed from suburban streets. Health lobbyists have decided that ice–creams are too much of a danger to children’s health. MPs and health officials are planning a series of measures across the country that are already forcing Mr Whippy and his helpers into meltdown.

Anyway, whoever Mr Whippy’s ‘helpers’ are, it is questionable whether a few parking restrictions next to schools are really going to make much of a difference. I like the suggestion in the article though that ice cream sales to kids will be forced underground – they will naturally be lured towards the harder stuff like Fabs, Twisters and Magnums.

Just as entertainingly you have to ask how was the following particular ‘fact’ arrived at? OK, it is quite possibly true but I just cannot believe that there is actually a body of evidence to support it:

The two most popular ice cream van jingles today are O Solo Mio by Eduardo Di Capua popularly known as the Cornetto theme and Greensleeves


Orwell: Politics and the English Language

13 05 2006

Writing about web page

Recently happened across this essay which recall from many years ago.

Among much else of interest it contains the following faultless instructions for written English:

Orwell pic
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never us a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Although written 60 years ago, this is still fresh. And am quite sure I don’t follow these rules most of the time.

Lanark: Undoubtedly top 10

13 05 2006

Book front cover

Writing about web page

Lanark (Canongate Classics)
Alasdair Gray
5 out of 5 stars

Lanark by Alasdair Gray

(Am in the middle of rather a long and ‘difficult’ book at the mo, so a catch up is offered)

Essentially, Lanark is one of the best contemporary novels in English that I have read. Although Burgess recommended it in his somewhat idiosyncratic list (see link) this should not be held against it.

It is Gray’s finest work (although his other books are great too) and well worth the effort.

Am also quite entertained by the website set up by someone to promote the book.

Anyway, regardless of other canoncial exhortations, just read it.

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