Post by Little Jack Horner on Jan 24, 2019 12:12:08 GMT
It is curious, is it not? In speaking my phone number, I always say the first zero as OH but I sometimes say zero for the second. I always use zero when quoting my bank number or debit card number. If I want to refer to the figure 0 I would say, “It’s a nought” or, perhaps “a zero” but never an OH. And I would never say, It’s a number OH or a number zero but I would likely refer to any other single digit number as “a number seven (or whatever)”. Is 0 a number?*
I agree with Dave about dates and road numbers but one does hear “nineteen hundred and nine” for dates and I have heard a sat-nav use a zero in road numbers — I can’t recall which one, but it sounded most odd.
One hears “twenty-oh-nine” for years but seldom “twenty hundred and nine”.
I have only heard James Bond referred to in code as DOUBLE-OH-SEVEN.
In the UK, the emergency number is 999 but I think it is always said “nine nine nine” and never “triple nine”. Very many years ago, our telephone number was 88875 Which was always pronounced “double eight eight seven five” as was, I think, recommended by the post office (?) at the time.
*Since writing the above, I have researched “zero” and it seems it is a number‼️
I try to avoid using "oh" and to stick to "zero" or "nought", but it doesn't always work.
I used to be married to a policewoman who always referred to the UK emergency number as "nine double nine" or "three nines". The number was originally chosen as being easy to dial in the dark: stick a finger in the last hole of the dial (0), then move the finger to the next hole (9). "000" couldn't be used because 0 was already in use for something else. It's all a bit redundant nowadays, of course, with press-button 'phones and touch screens that light up.
The European-wide emergency number is 112. It works just as well as 999 in the UK but few people know of it or use it because old habits die hard.
I recall maths lessons where 0 divided by 0 was described as an "undefined" or "impossible" number. That's because any number divided by 0 is infinity, but any number divided into 0 is 0, so 0/0 can't be calculated.
"Double Zero Seven" and "Double Nought Seven" just don't have the right ring to them, do they?
Of that batch I knew only conflux – and that through proofreading my paper's crosswords.
Our compiling cruciverbalist has a way with words gained perhaps through his decades as one of Australia's longest-serving, senior federal parliamentary correspondents; now retired, but still writes a syndicated weekly political comment column – and makes up our crosswords. He has taught me numerous words over my decade with the paper during which I've proofed and solved about 520 of his x-words. (And yes, he makes typos, and occasionally scrambles clues unintentionally, but he is approaching 80.)
"STYLE is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn." — Gore Vidal "STYLE is knowing what sort of play you're in." — Sir John Gielgud
A quick look at Google Maps tells me that we have a Buttockspire Wood, a Buttocks Bank Wood and (quite near to me) there’s Butt Town Caravan Park. But Canada trumps us more directly with a Buttocks Lake.
I used to live near Pratt's Bottom and now I live near Pett Bottom which was, according to Ian Fleming's "You Only Live Twice", where the orphaned James Bond was brought up by his maiden aunt, and it was where Fleming wrote the book while staying at the local inn. The signpost to the hamlet was recently changed by an anonymous wag to read, "Pert Bottom".
I haven't checked this, but I was told that the Normans had an aversion to the letter "S" when placed at the start of a name, and that they used to drop such initial letters from English placenames. Thus before the Norman conquest Nottingham was Snottingham, and Pratt's Bottom was Spratt's Bottom.
"Bottom" denotes a valley bottom but was "Buttock" a surname? Poor devils.
As Dave says, France has an Arse; in fact I've met quite a few of them there. It also has a Condom.
Post by Little Jack Horner on Jan 27, 2019 13:47:30 GMT
The prevalence of bottoms and buttocks in place names is, I suspect, less surprising to the British than some others. In Lancashire, where I grew up, Shufflebottom, Winterbottom, Ramsbottom (and Rimmer) are fairly common family names, and Ramsbottom is the name of a substantial market town with a population of over 17,000.
In Dorset, we have Happy Bottom, Scratchy Bottom and, of course, Shitterton, not to forget the River Piddle and the various places situated on its banks such as Piddlehinton and Piddletrenthide and several others where the Piddle has become the more genteel Puddle. The word piddle derives from the Old English pidele meaning marsh or fen.
Less well known is the derivation of Arish Mell, a well-known beauty spot on the Dorset coast. It means “mill near a feature resembling a buttock”. Arish is from the Old English ærs.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
... not to forget the River Piddle and the various places situated on its banks such as Piddlehinton and Piddletrenthide and several others where the Piddle has become the more genteel Puddle. The word piddle derives from the Old English pidele meaning marsh or fen.
In a toilet at the Piddle Inn, Piddletrenthide, situated on a bank of the River Piddle, I once piddled.