Hey man, 143!

KlaxonsI’m officially old. I know 35 isn’t exactly prehistoric, but a couple of things recently have confirmed this for me.

Firstly, I was mildly horrified to realise I’ve never heard any of the music from this year’s Mercury Music Prize winners The Klaxons. Of course, if it had been Amy Winehouse, Maps or Arctic Monkeys I’d have been OK.

The second shock was that there’s some cool new slang going around wiv the kids, namely 143. I didn’t know what it meant either, you see. It’s short for ‘I love you’ and kids are now texting other friends, to let them know how they feel.

What I want to know is why no-one’s invented a virtual rose to send, rather than three digits. After all, nothing says it like a bunch of flowers, real or not!

Mysterious vowel movement – bacn

The grammar police have been called following the mysterious disappearance of the letter ‘o’ in a new Web 2.0 definition.

Over the weekend, the word ‘bacn‘ appeared in various emails and feeds. Used by the so-called netheads, it describes “low-priority” e-mail that is not important enough to reply to immediately, but is not spam – examples include Facebook notifications.

The Web 2.0 authorities are looking into this new vowel movement, as there is mounting concern that soon all the ‘a’s ‘i’s and ‘u’s will also disappear.

Early start-ups such as Flickr were blase about dispensing with the ‘e’ and this has become a common deletion, but this new dropping of the ‘o’ has provoked widespread condemnation.

Reports that the term ‘ssg’ being introduced to describe a mish-mash of different Web 2.0  products are unconfirmed!

A curtilage request

I’m a man of words – that’s my stock in trade and has been for many years. As an example, I prefer “hirsute” above “hairy”, and “belligerent” above “arsey”, although there’s a place for both.

So it’s always a nice surprise to come across a word I’ve never used before, let alone even seen. However, it’s a huge shock when this word was used on my local council’s website.

Yup, I was looking for info on recycling collection in the London Borough of Bromley, where I’m about to move to and came across this fantastic sentence:

“Your waste will not be collected if it is not placed at the edge of curtilage”

Eh? I had to stop and think for a second. “Edge of curtilage” – what the hell does that mean?

Fortunately, Bromley Council has anticipated my confusion and added this helpful explanation.

“Your curtilage is the area of land within your boundary surrounding your property. The edge of your curtilage is on your land at the front within arms’ reach of the pavement but not on it.”

So, basically, they mean the edge of your property, or boundary, or even garden or yard. So why not say that? I’m all for expanding the use of our rich language, but not on a council website. For goodness sake, talk in plain English and not some legal mumbo-jumbo.

I know we live in litigious times, but I’m sure no-one will sue their local council for lack of curtilage explanation, will they?

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