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15:58 UK time, Thursday, 5 October 2006

Am I alone in thinking it strange that to aid the visualisation of an amount of crisps, we are advised of the number of telephone boxes or swimming pools that would be filled, yet when it comes to aiding the visualisation of an amount of water, concert halls are referred to (as occurs in "What happened to the drought?")?
DS, Bromley, England

Re: "Geekspeak still baffles web users". Sorry, what is "Geekspeak", exactly?
Adam, London, UK

To Luke, Tom and L.S. Klar - sorry to outpedant the pedant pickers - but Chris was in fact correct. Reason being that the sentence in question refers to "one in eight schoolchildren". This does not represent a single schoolchild. There are tens of thousands of schoolchildren out there so one in eight of them would represent a great many schoolchildren - ergo, "one in eight schoolchildren have english as a second language".
O.Asha, Brighton, UK

Luke, Tom and L.S. Klar and Grammarian, I am sorry but my colleague and I think that we agree with Chris. If the sentence was, "One of the children...", then the verb should be has. However, we are dealing with a proportion of a group, hence indicating more than one person. Therefore, we think the verb must be have. I am currently employed as an English teacher. Either I am brilliant or I should resign immediately.
Gareth, Tokyo, Japan

Re: The pedantic backlash to my pedantic comment regarding Grammarian's pedantic criticism of PM's use of 'HAVE' in 10 things - My interpretation of 'One in eight children in primary schools in England...' was that it was referring to (more or less) '500,000 children in primary schools in England...' i.e. that the subject of the sentence is not an individual but half a million individuals, hence 'HAVE'. But never mind. Clearly it's not a good idea to stand between PM (singular) and the Grammarians (plural) of this world.
Chris, Paris, France

Can the "one-in-eight" pedants clarify whether, in today's PM story about Boris vs Jamie, "the paper's faithful" should be plural (a collective noun) or singular as it's the Telegraph.
Ed, London

Re: 'Bulge' yields new planet class. Just what sort of whizzing is going on here?
James Hayward, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

I got very excited this morning to find that my Chunky Kit-Kat was all chocolate and no wafer. Why didn't I just choose a Dairy Milk in the first place?
Maria Quinn, Glasgow

The item on satirical/comedy websites missed one of the best of all...magazine monitor.
Martin, Stevenage, UK

How kind of you Martin.

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