The trouble with modern technology is that it makes life too easy for some. It does away with the need to think about certain things – like how to spell. The predictive text feature on mobile phones has been partly to blame for some of the most glaring ‘mistakes’ that have appeared on a ‘screen near you’ lately and some would say, has led to the shorthand sms-type text that is prevalent today. For example: “cu@thepub” … “wot time” … “4ish.”
Critics have labelled it the language of curt communication. One wonders whether the sign-writers at Sheffield High School used their mobiles to work out how to spell the word ‘category’ and ended up with ‘catergory.’ Perhaps they teach how to run a dinner party at the school? But it’s not something you’d expect from a high-fee type of school to have on display. And why wasn’t it picked up before someone who can actually spell spotted it and took a snap? Maybe all the staff and pupils are all in predictive text mode. Or perhaps we’re all just too used to scanning words and accepting them whether they’re correct or not. Possibly a fallout of prevailing trends?
One trend also causing confusion is the one of ‘how old are you?’ especially when it comes to serving alcohol. Publicans, shop owners and stocktakers will tell you what the law prescribes. And even that gets confusing when you consider whether the person is at home, with an adult, without an adult, ordering a meal, in Scotland, in a pub, at a supermarket etc. Most people will say you have to be “an adult over 18” and it cannot be sold to children. But now it gets even more complex since some psychologists have suggested that some under 25’s are still adolescents and not adults. And the conference in Brighton is also promising to bring the voting age down to 16. Would one then be able to advance the argument that “… if they’re old enough to vote, then they’re adults and therefore they’re old enough to buy a drink…”?
‘Parking off at the palace’ made mention of the versatility that stocktakers needed to exercise in their job so as to keep up to speed with developments, trends, innovations in order to keep customers efficient and profitable. Jon Rutter and his team are constantly kept on their toes as things change – but how would you like to be a fly on the wall (so to speak) at the Eat Ento restaurant. The new style of restaurant that serves various grubs, insects, maggots and other delicacies that are regarded as culinary delights in other parts of the world. Initially, Alice Audley was sceptical and a bit ‘flesh-crawly’ about it but her final verdict was that they were rather tasty.
This type of menu probably won’t be advertised on the sandwich board outside too many pubs, though. Much to the relief of the various stocktakers I suspect. How do you work out the profit margin on a bowl of maggots? Or an ant farm?
The final problem will be how to spell the dishes that are added to the menu. I suspect that it would be quite easy to get your Ageneotettix deorum confused with your Malanoplus bivittatus. Try giving that to a sign-writer!