Sunday, 18 April 2010

Substuff has moved!

It's official, is up and running!

Please do come over - I guarantee the grass is greener.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Substuff may be moving...

I am currently designing a new site using Wordpress. It's be the same blog, just with a posher look. It's a work in progress, but I'd be grateful for any honest feedback.

You can find it here currently: and soon also at That's right folks, I've bought a domain. Rah!

Abuse discriminately

No time for serious posting today folks, I'm afraid. Press day is here.

However, a roving spy has just emailed me to share the following wisdom:

A sign at the entrance to the Dartford Tunnel reads something along the lines of "Acts of violence or abuse against staff are illegal". So please, if you happen to be in the area and heavy with bloodlust, take it out on a member of the public – abusing them is perfectly acceptable.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The bigger the better? How irregular

I am not a coffee drinker, generally. I am one of those supercilious types who sips on green tea while others pollute their bodies. As I write, a large cup of Lipton peppermint and cinnamon tea is steaming away by my keyboard. However, occasionally, when no-one is looking, I do indulge in the odd latte.

Sunday afternoon was just such an occasion. On the way home from a wedding, as I scampered across Victoria station juggling a couple of bags and a slight hangover, Delice de France caught my eye (or my nostrils).

I ordered a brie and bacon croissant and a latte. "A regular latte?" asked the man. Yes, a regular latte. The more-than-£5 bill was a bit of a shocker, but hey, it's London.


The man behind the counter put the crane into gear and started cranking. Slowly, my coffee rose into view. The counter groaned as it took the weight. I shouldered my bags and with both hands, reached out to lift the cup. As I took possession, my muscles trembled under the strain. Finally, a passing security chap, resplendent in fluorescent yellow, hailed one of those beeping cars, which eventually transported me and my swimming pool of coffee to platform 18.

Well, something like that, anyway.

"Regular". Are you serious?

Let me read to you from the OED, Delice de France.
denoting merchandise, especially food or drink, of average, medium or standard size
So how big is an average, medium, standard, regular coffee? Well call me old-fashioned, but shouldn't this be... umm... the regular size you make at home? Y'know, an average cup. A normal one, if you will. Say about 10 ounces? So then a 'small' would be perhaps 8oz and a large would be 12oz. But no. I am pretty sure that I was given a good 16oz of latte – that, fellow pedants, is a pint. A pint!

Now I admit that I shouldn't have fallen for the old "a regular latte?" marketing trick. But still. This is silly. One pint of coffee and milk is not regular. In fact, I would argue that it is highly irregular. Most of it was milk, so... that's the best part of 261 calories and 9.1 grams of fat. If I'd known that, I'd have gone for chocolate cake instead, dammit.

Political parties listen up! First one to promise legislation on appropriate use of adjectives of size gets my vote. No more primo, medio and massimo, Costa. No more tall, grande and venti, Starbucks. No more ridiculous regulars, Delice. C'mon, Mr Brown, Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg. Last one there's a Tory!

Googling my plight, I discovered this post from a disgruntled Starbucks customer protesting against being made to say 'venti'. Very funny.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Do pictures matter?

Ah, we've all been there. The caption says one thing, the picture something else entirely.

Today, I caught the Metro at it.
"When I work with children we talk about people who have achieved things, like Nelson Mandela (pictured)," says Dr Linda Papadopoulos. "I ask them what they think of his appearance and they look at me like I'm mad because it is irrelevant."
When they look at you as if you are mad, Linda, are you holding up a picture of a chess board and claiming it is Nelson Mandela?


Thursday, 8 April 2010

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Were you being funny, Mr Griffin?

Nick Griffin made me think. Oh yes he did. About puns.

While there may be several situations in which a pun is a bad thing, one of the worst must be when it just makes people think you can't spell.

When Griffin wrote the following on Twitter yesterday, my first thought was "he can't even spell Cameron right?"

But hang on! Could that be ca-moron? Geddit? Moron? You tell me.

Was it:
a) shoddy spelling?
b) a pun?
Cast your votes!

Oh, and while we're at it. I have a similar issue with a company called Aforedable Golf, whose sandwich board sign stopped me in my tracks the other day. I know they meant it. They just shouldn't have.

Fellow lost souls

About Me

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Why did I turn out such a pedant? Well you'd have to ask my TV-banning, lentil-baking, library-enforcing, doctor-eschewing, beanbag-sitting, grammar-correcting, homeopathic, 2nd dan black belt, all-round no-nonsense mother. 'Cos me, I got no idea.