Favorite English Words

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Biddlin, May 22, 2020.

  1. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    To be given the job of reading the Shipping Forecast is one of the highest honours you can receive at the BBC. Clarity, rhythm and timing all have to be spot on. The last sentence in each is not personal commentary on the weather - it is the visibility.
     
  2. ChubbyFingers

    ChubbyFingers Active Member

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    For the uninitiated:

    First word defines an area around the coast, for example Wight means the area south of the Isle of Wight. Others take a bit of knowledge.

    Something like South 5 to 7 describes the wind from direction and the strength on the Beaufort Scale. Roughly speaking: 1 to 4 not much to worry about 5, 6 and 7, rather windy through to very windy, 8, 9, 10 are gales. 11 and above hurricanes.

    Calm, moderate, rough or very rough: sea state or how high the waves are. In my days in offshore oil and gas construction in the North Sea we only worried about significant wave heights over 10 feet. Anything less was considered "workable". If you're in a 30 ft yacht, however...

    Rain or showers: work that one out for yourselves chaps.

    Good or very good: visibility. You could also see fog or dense fog here.

    It's a great example of a message condensed into as few words as possible to clearly convey an awful lot of information.

    There are also conspiracy theorists who reckon the messages can be used to send secret instructions to Royal Navy warships and submarines, or that if the expected shipping forecasts aren't broadcast on time twice in a row something's up. Those may or may not be true, I honestly don't know.
     
  3. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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  4. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    The story I have heard is that nuclear submarines anywhere in the world would listen for BBC Radio 4. If it was not heard for two days in a row the captain would assume that Britain had been attacked. Unlike in the USA, the "nuclear key" is not held by any politician. A decision on its use is purely a military one.
     
  5. ChubbyFingers

    ChubbyFingers Active Member

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    Yeah, I've heard that oen too. Also things like The Archers not going out two days in a row, not playing Rule Britannia at midnight...

    Personally I think it's all a load of tosh, because a submerged nuclear sub sitting off the north coast of Russia wouldn't be able to pick up even Radio 4 Long Wave, let alone FM, and certainly not without surfacing first. Also, they have these things called satellites and secure digitial communications now I'm told. And if it's the case that the UK got wiped out and they werent able to communicate by any means, how would the Captain of the nuclear sub know who to retaliate against? Could be China, could be Russia, could be some nutjob from the Middle East (or Idaho or Macclesfield even).

    But then again, last time I was in the UK and needed a new passport, the passport office demanded a gas bill in my name to prove who I was and where I was living, so who knows?

    And AFAIK the ultimate decision to launch nukes resides with the Prime Minister not the Admiralty and under some sort of long standing Mutually Assured Destruction protocol has to be cleared with the White House first. Even the orders to sink the Belgrano with conventional torpedoes had to come from Number 10. The "do" comes from Number 10, the "how" is left to the military.
     
  6. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    If it were the Archers, we would be at war right now. Covid saw to that when they ran out of episodes. I reckon they could just have replayed a bunch of old ones - nobody would know the difference. One funny result of R4 going silent happened years ago. Remote repeater transmitters had a system that if the incoming audio feed was silent for more than 30 seconds, the transmitter would play pre-recorded music until it was fixed. Anyway, the year that was put in place the one minute silence on Armistice Day triggered every remote repeater in the country. Very embarrassing for the Beeb.
     
  7. ChubbyFingers

    ChubbyFingers Active Member

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    Yeah, can you imagine Noddy Holder (Slade) reading the shipping forecast?

    Here's Stephen Fry doing a spoof.

     
  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    And here is the real thing. It starts about 2:30. I have often been in the cockpit of a yacht at midnight writing all this down in the special Shipping Forecast log book which you could buy from Foyles. Having the whole thing tabulated made the pace easy to follow.

     
  9. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    And a very short clip of the Black Books episode with an alternative use of the Shipping Forecast:
     
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  10. RhinestoneStrat

    RhinestoneStrat Active Member

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    Here's an English phrase you probably heard of...gurgle gurgle MLP banhammer...remember Donny boy?
     
  11. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Well-Known Member

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    Catastrophize. I made it up.
    Future tripping with anxiety.

    Pinner. Weight room language for small, pin-like arms.
    I like to use it to describe thin ‘60’s neck profiles.
     
  12. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I've always liked "what the fukk" and "donut", but not necessarily in the same sentence. :yesway:

    "Beer" and " pizza" are a couple other good ones, and they do sound good in the same sentence. :yesway:
     
  13. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    Really? You're Albert Ellis?
     
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  14. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Well-Known Member

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    Uh-oh. He beat me to it?
     
  15. jtees4

    jtees4 Well-Known Member

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    I enjoy "punter" and "The C word".
     
  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    pusillanimous, mendacious, nefarious, duplicitous, execrable, maladaptive, incorrigible, puerile, vitiated...
     

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