Monday, 6 December 2010

An excellent start to the day

O, what joy! What delight! Though doubtless not in Tunbridge Wells where they are easily offended.

During this morning's BBC Radio 4 Today programme, presenter James Naughtie said a very 'naughtie' word in relation to Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary. Although, it must be said, someone else suggested it first.

Warning! Do not click on this link if you reside in Tunbridge Wells. Naughty Naughtie has been inundated by emails from your compatriots. Please do not add to the gentleman's distress.

Naughtie was guilty of a Spoonerism, although many more tongue-tangles were attributed to the Revd. Spooner than he unaged to matter. I wish the Revd. really had said: "Three cheers for our queer old dean!" mostly because I'm hoping to use the line myself - fully credited - in the near future. (Spoonering soon.)

Count Arthur Strong also appears - though it is beyond me how anyone can 'appear' on the wireless - on BBC Radio 4. He could spoon for Britain. I expect it's a Desirable/Essential quality for employment by Auntie. Still, here's a thought: a new Olympic sporting category that we'd have a sporting chance of winning - Spoonerisming . As long as we didn't meet Finland* in the final.

So, with 2012 looming/bearing down fast/hurtling towards us, we - as in The Nation not just the select band who visit Chez Moptop - must get behind the soon-to-be-announced sport of Spoonerisms. Let us start with a warm up exercise. All together now:

I am not the pheasant plucker,
I'm the pheasant plucker's mate.
I am only plucking pheasants
Cos the pheasant plucker's running late.

I am not a pheasant plucker,
I'm a pheasant plucker's son.
I am only plucking pheasants
Till the pheasant plucker comes.

 - though - PLEASE - do not practise in Tunbridge Wells. I'm on their list as it is.

* If you are troubled with insomnia, you might care to read this article about how Finns spoon.


  1. Well, it made my day. BTW Top Mop, I'm not in the Antique Trade - I'm a banker and I despite this financial climate, I love my job. I love banking.

  2. I must admit that I, too, have a fondness for bankers - despite the best attempts of The Media to persuade me otherwise.

    Another famous BBC Spoonerism involved punting on the Cam. Once you have it in mind, it is ever so difficult to say the phrase correctly.

  3. It's the media story of the week. Love it.