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Gordon Brown v Theatremonkey

August 18, 2010

You may have read in the past week that the collected speeches of Gordon (insert your own epithet, sorry, epitaph here) Brown were languishing far down the Amazon.co.uk sales list at 242,000 or so – and heavily discounted. Result: 1 smug Theatremonkey publisher and author, as we are way higher up the ranking than that.

Rather proving that any publicity is good publicity, I checked the rankings again yesterday… Thanks to the power of the Tory media, pouring scorn on the (insert your own epithet, sorry, epitaph here) one’s scribblings… the same speeches are now a best-seller and up over a fiver in price too.

To be fair, that was just amusing. Don’t get me started on what his predecessor (don’t hold back (insert your own epithet, sorry, epitaph here) has done with his own magnificent octopus / magnum opus (I struggled with Latin as a kid, preferring ‘Blackadder” to “vidi, vici, vini” any day, though reading that back…).

In other news, a hopeful moment as I filled in (or out, as it was) an American Visa Waiver form, valid for two years. With no plans to visit the Land of the Rising Big Mac, I still thought it was worth saving myself £15 on the off-chance. You don’t even have to give a travel date or anything – you can leave all that blank. A simple passport number is enough.

What interested me, as always, is the language the US Government use on its forms. Unlike our British ones, which have a friendly ‘now you are 7, you are old enough to fill in this form yourself’ tone, all “please write in this space your birthday, and the gift you’d most like to receive” etc, US forms baldy state “Date of Birth. The month, day and year you were born. Write with two digits for all these. Do not put the first two numbers of the year.” Not unpleasant, just rather interesting for anybody with an interest in words to make the comparison.

And that about does it for this entry. Not sure when the next one will be as the current computer is getting a bit grumpy. Watch this space.

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