BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor
« Previous | Main | Next »

Your Letters

15:55 UK time, Friday, 18 January 2008

Monitor note: Big crop today to make amends.

Re password overload, I have a strategy for generating and remembering guess-proof passwords for any purpose. The only time it doesn't work is when password requirements are unnecessarily prescriptive - length, numerals etc. The Oystercard site is a typical example. Consequently, I'm forced to write down passwords for these particular sites and they are therefore the least secure.
Kelly Mouser, Upminster, Essex

Re Me and my Banksy. The chest of drawers in the Banksy mural posted to a wall at a Bristol Police Station is in fact a cabinet. Its symbolism with Tony Blair is self-evident.
Martin Cooke, Rickmansworth, Herts

Could the chest of drawers be an armoire, and a reference to the fact the authority of the police is backed up by the Army? Or is that too contrived for words?
Lee, Manchester

Re 'Hero' pilot of Heathrow crash drama and neighbour Valerie Firminger describing him thus: "He's absolutely gorgeous. He's all you imagine an airline pilot to be..." I think it's telling that Mr Firminger is mentioned but we don't get a quote from him.
Simon, Milton Keynes

Re Misery creep: Now I feel depressed because I don't understand the title "Professor of epidemiological and liaison psychiatry".
Pix6, Vienna, Austria

So Paper Monitor does not like "wretched combination of abutting consonants", including words such as aluminium.
Er, unlike most of the words in that article ("wretched", "combination", "abutting", "consonants" etc), "aluminium" has no abutting consonants.
Ian Smith, London

I would have thought more controversy about pronunciation could have been generated by - er - controversy, or perhaps certificate, which often seems to get spoken as "sir-stiffy-kate".
QJ, Stafford, UK

Re Paper Monitor's comment about difficult pronunciation, a good method with unfamiliar/awkward words is to cover the word except the last syllable and say it out loud; then move to expose the next syllable and say the two combined; and so on.
"ull" (le);
"turbabul" (turbable);
"purturbabul" (perturbable);
and finally, "impurturbabul" (imperturbable).
As to meaning, type it in Word, highlight and press shift+F7 and, wahey, the thesaurus gives one the instant answer. That's my new word for the day, then...
Baz, Lingwood, Norfolk

Adam (Wednesday letters) said: "Let's conservatively assume that an average person meets about 100 other people aged within five years either way of themselves during their lifetime." You went to a really small school - indeed, do you ever leave the house?
Charles, Sao Paulo

Re the explanation of octopuses, octopus is indeed of ancient Greek origin, meaning "eight feet". Since the Greek word for "foot", pous, declines in the plural to podes, the plural of octopus should therefore be octopodes.
Jack Wake-Walker, London

Imagine my delight (and the subsequent gasp of horror upon realising that getting out more is now a matter of vital importance) as I watched QI to hear Stephen Fry ask "What is the plural 'octopus'?" According to him, it is indeed octopodes and if Mr Fry says that's what it is, then that's what it is.
Sophie, Belfast, Ireland

Not to detract from the seriousness of the incident at Heathrow, but does anyone else think that "glided" sounds wrong as the past participle of "glide" ? Would "glid" meet with approval ?
Paul Greggor, London, UK

Re Race row over Brazil fashion week: I thought the country with the most African descent would surely be Jamaica? Plus saying Brazil is the most multi-coloured country doesn't sound very PC. Surely the writer should have said multi-cultural or multi-ethnic? Apologies for my pedanticism.
Richard, Oxford

A report examining delays in engineering work which wrecked travel plans for thousands of people over New Year is to be published later (People 'let down' by Network Rail) Well, nobody really expected it to be on time, did they?
Fred, Rotherham

Re the random stat that 12% of people are in a loveless marriage. Call me cynical, but the firm of solicitors that conducted that survey weren't divorce lawyers by any chance?
Edward Green, London, UK

Yay! A six word all-noun headline in the form on "Cooke body parts case plea deal" on the Entertainment page. With these nouns, you are really spoiling us.
Rob Foreman, London, UK

No Mike Harper (Wednesday letters), only a fool would have the Macbook Air as their only machine; it is by its very nature a stripped-down ultra-portable, meant as a companion to your powerhouse desktop. Besides, external DVD drives work with it and it can even piggyback and use nearby computer's optical drives. Not that facts need be considered when there's a conspiracy to unearth.
James Keeling, Cambridge


Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.