Welcome to the World of English Summer Issue, in which we invite you to let your hair down (or if you haven't any, to let it grow) and forget, as far as you think wise, about exams, school and university (or, if you are an especially precocious pupil, kindergarten).
We would like to wish you, our readers, a laugh, a good read and a very happy vacation! To help you achieve this we would like to spice up our issue and entertain you with lots more of these strange linguistic blunders, incongruities, ambiguities and illogicalities that we like to slip in to keep you on your toes. And, of course, to keep you aware of the depth and breadth of the English language. As always, there's so much more material than we have room for, so we apologise in advance for all the laughs you are not going to have as a result!
On your travels watch out for more of those English blunders on signs, in ads and newspapers and send them in to us. How about: "For rent: six-room hated apartment"! And "The Superstore - unequalled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivalled inconvenience." There are no two ways about the ridiculousness of whoever wrote the following ambiguous advertisements: "Used cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!" Educational establishments are not free from blame either: "3-year-old teacher needed for pre-school. Experience preferred."
We've got plenty of jokes to keep you chuckling on the beach. Heard the one about the man who arrived home at 4am only to be greeted at the door by his wife. "What's your excuse for coming home at this hour?" she said icily. "Breakfast," he replied.
Look out for proverbs and our deep thoughts and questions to ponder whilst soaking up the sun on some sandy coast, splashing about in the water, and sipping your beer (or juice) around the barbecue. Or, if you are really unlucky, whilst you are stuck in town doing your summer job.
If one synchronised swimmer drowns, do the rest drown, too? If you pull the wings off a fly, do you call it a walk? And here's some useful proverbial advice for you: "Before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes."
And, for those of you planning your outdoor pursuit holidays, remember the old axiom: "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you."
Have a great summer!
Yours, stuck in the office,