Friday 18 June 2010


Sometimes people garble a well-known phrase because they’re too young to remember what it refers to – or because they’ve just got no imagination.

Since the 1950s, this suburban district on the edges of Farnborough, Croydon and Bromley has been considered Desperado Central: a lawless terrain of mock-Tudor homes and gated communities where retired armed robbers, Cockney racketeers and their kohl-drenched partners in crime used to retire to spend their ill-gotten gains. John Walsh, Independent June 5 10 Kohl drenched? Even allowing for hyperbole, a kohl-drenched person would be a Goth, not a gangster’s wife.

Most of Egon Ronay’s obituaries repeated his experience at the Victoria Station buffet, where he was shocked to find a communal teaspoon on a bit of string. In some accounts, this became a spoon suspended from a string, which became a spoon on a string suspended from the ceiling.

Few people wear “bottle-bottom” specs any more. They had lenses so thick they looked like the bottom of a glass bottle. Bottle bottoms were sometimes flattened and used as window-panes for that 18th century, Quality Street look. But if you’ve never seen the specs, or the window-panes, or even a glass bottle, you may end up with:

bottle top glasses Times Aug 1 09
milk-bottle specs Guardian March 31, 2008
coke-bottle spectacles Guardian

Auctions are not the preserve of people with double-barrelled names and big chins. Observer May 23 2010 Upper class people are traditionally chinless due to inbreeding and unwillingness to have their teeth fixed.

More misunderstandings here.

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