Thursday 28 January 2021

Received Ideas in Quotes 18

Faces from 16th/17th century German stoneware bottles (Bartmann jugs) were called "Bellarmines" in England, supposedly due to their resemblance to the staunchly Catholic Cardinal Bellarmine. It's said Protestants liked to smash the bottles to see his face in pieces, but most of what we find on the foreshore is more likely to have been smashed accidentally in homes and taverns, where Bellarmines were used every day. (Mudlarking author Lara Maiklem. Picture by Liz Anderson.)

Not everyone did any science or took any notice at school, have never read a book, and don't care. People guess and just pass it around until it becomes the received wisdom. This has not happened because of the Internet, it has always been like that. I was stunned one day when my ex informed me that he always knew if a kid was from a gypsy family as they had bags under their eyes. He was pretty smart in lots of ways, but he was in reality undereducated (something he concealed from me for some years.) He had loads of erroneous ideas about things. It simply isn't programmed into some people's brains that you can actually find out stuff if you make a tiny effort. Google is a foreign country to billions of people. (Rhiannon Georgina Daniel via FB)

Irritating to hear a prime-time, much trailed @BBCRadio4 programme (
Alice Roberts' Bodies) perpetuate the old pseudo-historical myth that religion put "an intellectual stranglehold" on science during the Middle Ages. (@Seb_Falk)

Ah what is that I hear on the radio? An axe grinding? No, it is the phrase "Ecclesia abhorret a sanguine" to prove the medieval church forbid human dissection because it hated science. Let me spend 12 minutes researching that oh. “It is a literary ghost. It owes its existence to [François] Quesnay, the uncritical historian of the Faculty of Surgeons at Paris, who in 1774, citing a passage from Pasquier’s Recherches de la France (“et comme l’eglise n’abhorre rien tant que le sang”) translated it into Latin and put it into italics. No earlier source for this sentence can be found. Quesnay himself quote a register from the archives of the Surgeons of Paris, in which it was stated that “at the time of Boniface VIII (1294-1303) and Clement V (1305-14) a decree was put forth at Avignon and confirmed by the council of Philip le Bel that surgery was separated from medicine.” No such decree can be found in the register of Boniface VIII, whilst among the ten thousand documents contained in the register of Clement V only one refers to medicine, and that concerns itself with studies at Montpellier. (Medieval canon law on medical and surgical practice by the clergy, Darrel W. Amundsen. See also Andrew Dickson White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology, 1896. He propagated the idea that the Victorians forbade anesthesia in childbirth because women ought to endure the "curse of Eve".)

A historical fallacy I sometimes see people falling into is the assumption that medieval and early modern people who died for expressing heterodox beliefs died for the right to express heterodox beliefs.

Another fallacy is that executed people's beliefs were always "right" in the word's modern sense. (@Annibal97783312)

Another fallacy is that religion is a system of beliefs. It's fundamentally an activity. (@crowley_gavin)

The other thing people often don’t grasp is that mediaeval/early modern people really believed what they said, it wasn’t a cynical cover for misogyny/the patriarchy/socio-economic self-interest.

Would you believe that every generation claims kids don't play outside anymore and they said this about 90s babies? (author Kaitlyn Greenidge @surlybassey)

Society is creating a new crop of alpha women who are unable to love. (Fox News 2017)

All roads in Boston, Mass., were originally cow paths. This explains the curving layout – unlike New York’s grid plan. (Via Twitter)

New hats were expensive and hard to come by during WWII. Hatpins were a must-have item to secure your hard-won hat. (Daily Mirror. You pinned your hat to your updo to stop it falling off. The hatpin's heyday was the years 1890-1910, an era of big hair and even bigger hats.)

An ex-miner told me that when he was young someone from Swinton (where we lived) would generally not be able to understand someone from Bolton (eight miles up the road). (Via the Internet.)

South Australia didn't have convicts, so they sound more like New Zealanders than the rest of us. (@Plantagenet00)

The Eye of the Needle (a perforated pyramid), one of the Wentworth Follies, was built to win a bet. (Gareth Hughes. "The second Marquess of Rockingham claimed he was able to 'drive a coach and horses through an eye of a needle'," says Wikipedia. "A firing squad execution took place here, as there are musket-ball markings on the eastern side," adds

Tove Jansson’s original drawing of a moomintroll was a caricature of the philosopher Immanuel Kant. (@qikipedia)

Most people's minds can't be changed by logic and facts because most people are simply not wired that way. For good or bad, emotion and charged images are what govern around 90% of people. (JN via FB)

In my time there were occasional newspaper reports about Russian military people learning languages by playing tapes while they slept. It seemed a most appealing energy-saving prospect, but it may never quite have taken off. (@AodhBC)

Young women went blind making lace because bright light made the threads brittle, so they had only a candle for light. (@pammalamma. There are many paintings and photographs of women sitting in the sun making bobbin lace.)

Many surprising fashions in dress have arisen from the fact that a famous man or woman tried to conceal some infirmity. (Jean Cocteau)

19th century doctors adopted the white coat to look like more reputable biologists and chemists. (@SamoBurja)

Employers have to fill a quota of Black and minority ethnic employees. (No, says a lawyer.)

The Molendinar Burn that supplies Tennant’s Brewery in Glasgow passes through the Necropolis, an ornate Victorian cemetery. This is what gives Tennant's its unique taste.
(Gareth E. Rees, Unofficial Britain)

In 1960s sectarian Liverpool, only Catholics usually had middle names. My Dad came from a staunch Protestant family and insisted I didn’t have one. (@Stephen_L12. Catholics take a name on Confirmation and some may use this as a middle name.)

I heard a story when cassette walkmen were becoming popular in the 80s. Cassettes being listened to on the London Underground were being wiped. The magnetic fields from the train motors were much too small to affect magnetic tape. (PD)

I find that a lot of anti-socialist sentiment boils down to a basic belief that people are lazy and won’t work hard unless they are suffering. I think most people would do amazing things if they weren’t in dire straits constantly. (@IsicaLynn)

"Personality disorders" do not cause sex offending. Nor do "attachment disorders". Nor do "bad childhoods". Can we please stop teaching students, professionals, the public and even the sex offenders themselves that they do? (@DrJessTaylor)

In Dorset, red-painted direction posts mark a route for guards taking prisoners to Poole, for transportation to Australia. The posts were painted red because the guards were illiterate and couldn’t read signposts, says a Facebook poster. "The red signpost on the A31 at Winterborne Zelston marks the turning for the barn where prisoners were lodged. There's a more romantic explanation: A highwayman was being chased along the road, and was shot down at the signpost. His blood stained the post so the authorities had it scrubbed off. The next morning, the post was red again, so they tried painting it with the same result. In the end, they gave up and it has been painted red ever since." A killjoy interjects: "These cast-iron signs were all erected by county councils, which didn’t come into existence until the 1880s/90s, long after transportation to Australia had ceased."

Modern life and technology inhibit imagination, particularly the mind's capacity to dream.
(Thomas de Quincey, 1845)

I'm sure you're sensible enough to not run to the GP at the first sign of a cold and demand antibiotics unlike some people! (JE)

The German air force bombed Leicester thinking it was Birmingham. (WUR)

A friend carved names in York Market. He had multiple spellings of Chardonnay, and Shivaughn was another favourite. But the absolute winner was Kadasha, which they wanted cut as: Ka-a. (MJ)

When people began travelling from the south to the Lake District, travellers were overwhelmed by the majesty and awe of the hills and were given frames with which to peek at small areas at a time. (Via FB. They were probably using a frame to select a “picturesque” view, either to turn it into a watercolour, or to see landscape as if it was a picture.)

There is still a widespread idea that scientists "cling to beliefs", that they hate being wrong, and won’t give up on arguments or ideas. (@TetZoo)

It is believed that marble regenerates itself in quarries, and quarrymen declare that the wounds they inflict on mountainsides close over of their own accord. If this is true we can be optimistic that our resources for sumptuous living will never be exhausted. (Pliny, 36.125)

Am I happy? I don’t really know what that means. Life is exciting, totally fascinating, it’s magical, but I don’t really see happy as part of the deal. It’s right up there with God. “Happy” and “God” and things that are so beyond our ability to even comprehend. (Diane Keaton. Celebs seem unable to give the answer “no”. Perhaps their PR people won’t let them.)

We have received reports that horse owners have found a plait in their horse's mane and believe their horse may be marked to steal. In Cheshire we are not aware of any thefts linked to a horse's mane being plaited. (Cheshire Police RuralCrime @CheshPolRural It happens naturally, says another policeman. People used to think their horses’ manes were plaited by fairies or witches.)

There’s a theory that comedians do better at straight acting than conventional actors do at comedy. (

A 1953 book on psychosomatic illness gives the causes of skin conditions: need for approval, hypersensitivity, guilt, ambivalence, hostility (repressed), inferiority and anxiety. Period pains are caused by: fear of male aggression, anxiety, dissatisfaction with female role, self-centeredness, disgust with excretions and need for love. (Women were also told that the pain would go away once they had children, and all the above became something everybody just "knew".)

I heard a story that mummies were used as train fuel. It was during railway expansion in Egypt, they found so many mummies so they thought it was a great idea to used them as locomotive fuel due to lack of trees in the desert. (@kadin_kumala)

When they were digging Sloane Square Underground Station they forgot the buried River Westbourne was there, and it started flooding all the tunnels, so it now flows in a rather ordinary grey-green iron box over the top of the tracks. (Alexander Ritchie via FB. If it was buried, it must have been flowing through a pipe.)

Japanese women don't have menopausal symptoms because there is no word in Japanese for menopause. (Via FB)

Jelly babies were invented in 1864 by an Austrian immigrant working at Fryers of Lancashire, and were originally marketed as "Unclaimed Babies." By 1918 they were produced by Bassett's in Sheffield as "Peace Babies," to mark the end of World War I. (It's in Wikipedia – it must be true.)

"Candyman" was a term of abuse in Newcastle in C19 after itinerant sweet-sellers took money to act as bailiffs and eject striking miners and their families from homes. (@byzantinepower)

Thomas Aquinas asserted that women are inherently subordinate to men and that this subjection existed even before sin and is not a result of the fall, but is part of the created order and for their own benefit. (@NoHolyScripture. Was he reflecting current ideas, or did he influence them?)

Well recall Thatcher hiring a voice coach to flatten out upper-class vowels she'd cultivated at Oxford. (@HuishHugh. suggests that she lowered the pitch of her voice and tried to sound "warmer". It describes her original tones as "strangulated Received Pronunciation". But youtube maintains that she hired a coach from the National Theatre.)

More here, and links to the rest.
What You Know that Ain't So

Received Ideas about Etymology in Quotes 17

Because so many popular yet untrue etymological stories have naval themes – like the made-up theory that "posh" comes from "port out, starboard home" – some etymologists joke that the word "canoe" stands for the "Committee to Ascribe a Naval Origin to Everything". (@HaggardHawks)

The word “cockney” is said to originate from “coken ey” which is Middle English for cock’s egg. It was a derogatory term to describe how strange and unnatural the accent was. (Wellingtongoose.

In the Middle Ages, a plank was erected across the bow of the ship and people sat on it when they needed to go to the toilet. Whatever they produced was washed off the bow of the ship by the water rushing by underneath them. Their heads could be seen by whoever was steering at the rear of the ship. Hence the name The Heads.

I was told “mufti” was from old China Station rules where wearing Military Uniform was Forbidden in The Interior.

I read somewhere (and "someonce") that "sterling" comes from "easterling", and refers to merchants from the Hanseatic League.

Vindaloo is based on the Portuguese dish carne de vinha d'alhos - meat in garlic and wine marinade. (@Eaterofsun)

Ovaltine was created in Switzerland in 1904 under the name Ovomaltine. It is known as Ovaltine in English speaking countries due to a misspelling on a trademark application form.
(John Harrison)

The Turk’s Head Inn was established in 1233, after Turkish pirates attacked Penzance during the Crusades. The pub claims to be the first in England to bear the name. (Via FB. Nicholas Nickleby set off for Dotheboy’s Hall from the Turk’s Head in North London. Turk’s heads were a motif in heraldry – many odd pub names are from local coats of arms.)

Knyvett: This long-established surname is of Anglo-Norman origin, and derives from "cnivet", the Norman pronunciation of the Old English pre 7th Century "cniht", owing to the French difficulty with the "h" of "cniht". ( The Normans arrived some time after the 7th century.)

The full set here.

More here, and links to the rest.

Friday 15 January 2021

Junk Statistics 8

In the UK, 51% of Black children have been sent home from school for wearing their hair naturally. (Dove advert. Pic shows historian Emma Dabiri.)

The UK population may have fallen by as much as 1.3m in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, academics have said.

The number of people born outside the UK resident here has fallen 800,000 on a year earlier. (Office of National Statistics, Nov 2020)

201K people immigrated to the UK from the EU in 2018. 145K people emigrated from the UK to the EU in 2018.

50-year study of tax cuts on wealthy shows they always fail to "trickle down". (

As people commute and socialise less, they don’t chew so much gum, says Mars CEO.

Supermarket sales figures show that beer sales have risen during the pandemic while make-up sales fell by £180m. Sales of toothbrushes and deodorant also fell.

In the 70s British people didn't drink wine in anything like the quantity they do today. (Good wine was expensive, and difficult to find.)

Over 60% of the total energy consumed in a house during its lifetime is during its construction (including manufacture of components).

40% of adults in Britain keep debts and other money secrets from their loved ones. (The Week. Young people are the worst, they add.)

The woods of North America are home to some three-quarters of a million black bears.

2% of black people in Britain live in the countryside.

Nine out of ten young people say they would like to get married in the future; 75 per cent of those under 35 years old currently in cohabiting relationships want to get married; over 70 per cent of people who expressed an opinion in a recent CSJ /YouGov poll supported introducing an extra tax allowance for married couples. (Centre for Social Justice report 2012)

The proportion of the population aged 16 and over in England and Wales who are married fell to 50.5%, down from 51% recorded in 2017. The number of adults who live with a partner but have never married has risen to 10.4%, up by 1.3 million people since 2008 to nearly 5 million. (Times 2019. There are legal differences between cohabitation and marriage.)

Nearly half of women in the UK remain childless at 30, says the Times. (Forty years ago, a woman who had her first child over 30 was referred to as an “elderly primipara”.)

Creative Diversity Network figuress show just 2.4% of production executives and 4.4% of series producer are non-White and only 1.6% of writers working in UK TV are Black.

10% of people listed in the Domesday Book are slaves.

The ten most obese European nations:
Turkey 32.1%
Malta 28.9%
United Kingdom 27.8%
Hungary 26.4%
Lithuania 26.3%
Israel 26.1%
Czech Republic 26.0%
Andorra 25.6%
Ireland 25.3%
Bulgaria 25.0%
(UK residents not vastly more obese than rest of Europe, as claimed, says @adamboultonSKY.)

Just over one-fifth of adults in Scotland (22%) do not use the Internet at all. (32% said they did not like using the Internet/computers; 27% said they did not need to use the Internet/computers and perhaps more importantly 25% said they did not how to use a computer., 2012)

1 in 4 Americans thinks Sun goes round Earth. (26% in a survey of 2,200 people conducted in 2012 answered that the Sun revolves around the Earth.) (National Public Radio

There are some (few) advantages is being relatively ancient. I remember a time when church leaders tut-tutted over the decline in Christian belief and church attendance, telling us that, if it continued, there would inevitably be a huge increase in crime. The decline in belief and church attendance has continued apace, but crime...? Well, actually, that's declined too. Oooops! (WS)

Sept 2019: Minimum pricing for alcohol in in Scotland reduced sales of alcohol for private consumption.

In 2019, 2% of young adults in England claimed to be part of the Church of England.

Four in five asylum seekers “are deemed to have no credible claim to asylum in the UK”, says Migration Watch. ( Not actually true. 53% of asylum claims are eventually resolved with leave to remain in the UK. @DanKaszeta)

40% of 18th century brides were pregnant on their wedding day. (Greg Jenner)

50% of marriages end in divorce.

All children on free school meals live in crack dens or brothels. Feckless parents just don’t know how to budget. (4.2 million children are in relative child poverty, 2.4 million of whom are in absolute poverty, 3.7 million in absolute poverty after housing costs; 72% of kids living in poverty are in working households; 2.5m live in food-insecure households.)

StoryTerrace has conducted national research, revealing that 1 in 4 people in Britain believe that their story is worthy of being made into a book or film. (PR Blurb)

800,000 kids go missing a year.

In England, more land is used for golf courses than for housing.

44% of women don’t know they have a cervix.

Only 15% of people in the UK who start work at entry level rise above that level during their working life, says Iain Duncan Smith early Feb 2020.

82% of women are wearing the wrong size bra (Every year for the past 50. Why do women never get the message?)

30% to 50% of zygotes never make it to fetuses. And 10% to 20% of fetuses never make it to birth. (Source: “the Internet”)

More here, and links to the rest.

Tuesday 12 January 2021

Technophobia 8

It’s January 2021 and Hilary Rose in the Times praises Harry and Meghan for giving up social media because it's pointless and ghastly – she knows because she’s never used it.

It’s 2021 and people are still talking about social media as if it was somehow contaminating. From someone who says he has “simply no use” for Facebook: I joined to have the occasional look at things I can't look at otherwise, entered the minimum personal info I could - and then edited out what had been put there for me. I am not interested in it in any other way. (He started off saying he never used it and wished the subject to be closed. Now he says he looks in once a week to catch up on people’s news.)

But sometimes a friend who has been on Facebook for years, posting the occasional picture of their child or political petition, suddenly realises you can chat to people and starts posting long updates about their lives and engaging in conversations all over the place at great length. (And generally sharing what people used to write in letters to friends.)

It’s 2020 and Matthew Parris is bragging that he’s never used Twitter.

It's 2021 and there are still Facebook posts and websites that are a huge block of text with no paragraphs. You're probably typing on your phone, but please break up the text with line spaces. And on web sites, use large type and leave white space either side.

I genuinely think that some people (read as: 60+ year olds) do not realise how public their comments are on social media. (Via Twitter. Some FB and Twitter newbies say “Why are you posting on MY PAGE?” if you reply to them.)

It’s nearly 2021 and I told someone on Facebook how to copy and paste.

It’s Dec 2020 and I’ve just told someone how to create a Twitter thread by replying to their own tweets.

It’s 2020 and someone on Twitter is asking how to turn off grammar-checking in Word. This is where I came in!

It’s 2020 and some people don’t know they can resize windows so that you can see, eg, email and a Word file side by side.

“I closed the tab and now I can’t find the link on the website again!” Apparently it is common to keep 100s of tabs open permanently, instead of bookmarking web pages you need to return to.

In 2020: “Twitter refreshed and I lost the tweet I was looking at!” “Go to the top, click on the star, select Latest Tweets.”

It’s 2020, and explains that putting text in double quotes will bring up only those pages where the wording matches exactly. This has been a feature of search engines since the early 90s.

I would stand behind someone who’d “highlighted everything by mistake and now it’s disappeared and I didn’t save it” and say “Don’t touch anything! Don’t touch anything!” They carried on hitting keys at random and lost their work.

People are still pushing the line that “likes give you a dopamine hit”. They think this means social media is addictive and you should be somehow ashamed of liking being liked. I’ll never understand Protestant guilt.

We can put a man on the moon, but if you write a review on it is almost impossible to find it again and update it. There ought to be an “immediate edit” option.

You don't keep up with technology that affects your job, so you can’t foresee that in a few years it’ll be possible for the company to shut down satellite offices and run the operation from overseas – when it happens you're terribly surprised. In the 80s, many journalists were amazed to find they were now effectively typesetting their own stories, and there were no longer printers in the basement. And when technology makes you redundant from your job operating an antiquated system that “runs on hamsters and steam”, you are simply astounded.

I just checked out a new coffee shop. At the register, there's a sign that says there's no wi-fi so that customers "make a friend." It worked! My new friend is a different coffee shop. (@legogradstudent)

Every so often an academic or novelist rants that some technological innovation (biros, Twitter, word processors, the electric telegraph) is going to destroy novel-writing, letter-writing, conversation, civilisation, life itself etc many years after it is such a part of people’s lives that nobody notices it any more.

Why is everything a hashtag these days? (Arthur Smith, Money for Nothing. Because Twitter has been around for 15 years, Brian.)

In the 80s the entire concept of “ignorance” was rendered unthinkable. Because you couldn’t give people orders, information was also tainted. You couldn’t even tell someone how to knit. No wonder 80s types had such trouble with computers. All opinions of them are not equally valid. And you can't manipulate them. If you got it right, they worked; if you didn’t, they didn’t. Computers came with thick manuals which people refused to read. I was told "Don't read the manual, it'll only confuse you". What do you think I did? But somehow all this idiocy went out of the window when anyone wanted to learn how to pass their driving test, or take out a mortgage. (They also feared computers might put people out of work. Some lost jobs – but others acquired them.)

Desk chairs are one of our best sellers. Everybody’s got a laptop, and they need a comfortable chair. (Salvage Hunters, 30 years after special “ergonomic” chairs were recommended for computer use. The typing chairs we already had were perfect for the task, oddly enough.)

What happened to all those products designed to “protect” us from evil computers – like the lightweight chainmail shirt for pregnant women? The tinted glass shade you stuck over your screen because the green letters were too bright and you couldn’t adjust screen brightness?

A lot of the arguments against phones at the table were also applied to books when I was young, and a lot of the arguments about snapchat filters etc were applied to women's magazines - at one point the source of all evil. (LW)

More here, and links to the rest.


Thursday 7 January 2021

Grammar: Neologisms 22

If you want wit these days, go to Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads,

pied-piper professors
(asteroid that just misses us)
ungratiation (@corsent)
pin-striped concrete (MK)
stickybeaking (prying, Australian)

(Someone who poses as a person of Native American descent)
liquid zoo (aquarium)
mop chop (haircut)
furniture Tetris
(when moving house, HRT)
keyboard proselytising
post-Semiotic gibberish.
(Waldemar Januszcak)
unwelcome mat

– switching from flippant murder mysteries to something more character-driven.
(Liz Williams)

Pump and dump operation (Boost an idea, buy shares in it, boost it some more, see the price rise, dump your shares, watch it crash. From a piece about driverless cars.)

Not new, but I like the dialect “goyle” for a deep gulley, and the American "mourning-cloak butterfly".

This strange little ante-area. (Martin Roberts, Homes under the Hammer)

Salford Quays is the most nowhere place I’ve ever been. (TC)

Dehumanising rhetoric was always the tool of identitarianism; its orientation on the political spectrum is irrelevant. These people have not learnt anything from 20th C history. I fear America is about to retake that module.

Magical thinking. We forget that it doesn’t disappear after age 7 or 8, it just gets built over. (VH)

The people who are orchestrating these schemes haven't read page one of the Ladybird book of ecology! (Chris Packham on HS2)

I'm down to the penicillin-discovering end of the Christmas Stilton.
(Rob Chapman @rcscribbler)

Mail readers just want to spend their lives in a state of exaggerated tutting. (LW)

The Times: perpetually gnawing upon the bone of old-white-person resentment over nothing, intentionally inflaming their elderly readers’ spite and grudges with nasty non-stories. (@flying_rodent)

I can sleep at will on a clothes line with a brass band playing underneath. (DC)

In a shared-house quarrel, “Andy has declared himself Switzerland”. (

The killer was just the usual guy afraid to lose his share of an inheritance, kind of a behind-the-counter retail creep. (

For the love of goodness, you should file the serial numbers off this story and turn it into a historical novel of the generational sort. (EF)

The cult of righteousness that the Guardian embodies. (Suzanne Moore,

A little Norman archery from Chichester Cathedral. (@Portaspeciosa)

Can’t be doing with high-rise food. Don’t have a flip-top head. (AM)

Anyone who thinks 70s English cookery was some kind of golden age either wasn’t there or has lost their marbles completely. (@PaulbernalUK)

Coronavirus is a “cobbled-together phantom” says @MIM86637799.

Geoffrey Palmer magnificent with Judi Dench playing a crushed-but-impish middle-class non-entity, may he rest in semi-detatched heaven. (@BrynleyHeaven)

Well colour me pink and strike me down with a herring.

She was a friend "until she married one of Barbara Cartland's sons and rose into the ether". (BSG)

People say that drunks are charming, but it’s just “vacuous bonhomie”. (AP)

A khaki jacket – the kind of bland garment designed to make old people even more invisible than they already are. Tania Unsworth

Rather than bringing some analytical clarity, she did no more than cloak crude rhetorical strategies in academic grandiloquence. (Sam Leith, on Judith Butler)

Why does everything need a label, like there's some mystical gender dymo machine? (@toonmillie)

Gov propaganda re Covid is worse [than the Asda ad] if you’re a radio listener at work all day, usually Jazz FM in my case, the wall-to-wall lowball intellectual pitch and cosy, warm, bobbly-fleece, pseudo-regional voiceovers are quite irritating. (SK)

A branch of my family (well, practically an entire shrubbery) emigrated to England. (@laineydoyle)

Listening to the Small Faces’ Green Circles today and I’d forgotten how much I love Kenney Jones’ “knocking over a huge tower of metal catering trays” drumming. (@Andr6wMale)

From Piccadilly the quiet snoring of the traffic came soothingly up to them. (Margery Allingham, Dancers in Mourning)

Swinging-Sixties tawdriness. (Richard Davenport-Hines on the dire 60s sex comedy Candy)
Punishing miasma of dread. (Kevin Maher on the CGI Cats)

Cardiff post-2000's idea of 'how to look like a capital' being 'build a barrage to create a giant lake, ring it with chain restaurants made of green glass and string, then build 1,000 blocks of probably flammable student flats' is a bit sad given it built Cathays Park once. (@owenhatherley)

There are others who can't be wrong because they can't step outside of an ideology they have glued themselves to. (CW)

The diminutive St Mary Magdalene’s is a weather-beaten majesty. Externally, it’s a patchwork of nibbled clunch, brick, the odd flint nugget, and islands of lime render. Its design incorporates embattled parapets, cinquefoil tracery, and a rather regal south porch. (@friendschurches)

I intend to [photograph this new-build estate] before the flags come down, the hoardings are removed, the show house actually sold and actual humans are unwrapped from their plastic packaging and installed inside these normalisation pods to watch talent-show contests and replace their small allotted sections of greenspace with astroturf. (Max von Seibold)

Hilton and Blackman show all the acting skills of photographic models in a clothing catalogue. (imdb)

But then you got to the part about her essentially boasting about a history of drug addiction and embezzlement, and the scary staccato violin music started playing in the background. (

We've ended up with a Cabinet full of Skeletor's minions and call-centre middle managers. (@garius)

I don’t bubble-wrap my words. (Dr Em, a brain-injury survivor)

More here, and links to the rest.