I don't know about the oldest e-mail , but the slowest email I ever received took almost a year to arrive. Unfortunately I deleted it a long time ago so I can't verify the dates, but it was sent in Dec 2000 and arrived towards the end of 2001. Can anyone beat that?
Sue, don't worry, I also don't know about Icehouse and have never received said e-mail (Friday letters ) - perhaps it's the name? Never mind, we can start our own group. Sues of the world unite and send each other jokes instead.
I know you don't do Quote of the Day over the weekend, but "it looks a bit like when you gesture to a dachshund to jump up to your hand" surely deserves at least an honourable mention in the letters page?
Paul Greggor, London
Your story "Rise of the Round Pound" suggested that the reason behind rounding the price of an item down by a penny was a 'mind trick' to give the impression that the item was actually cheaper. However, there is a very sound historical reason behind the practice: if change, albeit a penny, had to be given then the cash register had to be opened. This forced the sale to be recorded. Otherwise a dishonest sales assistant could pocket the entire amount. I suspect this is less of a problem in these days where many transactions are via electronic means and many customers expect a printed receipt.
Robert James, Liverpool
In your Magazine article 'the rise of the round pound' you did not mention the fact that the new practice of shops dealing in pounds (rather having .99 on the end of any price) could lead to a reduction in the amount of coinage we all have to carry around in our pockets, or the time savings for shopkeepers if they have less coinage to count and bag at the end of the day.
Gordon, Newcastle, UK
Oh, Hamish (Friday letters ). There was no need for that now, was there?
Alexandra, Leicestershire, UK
With building space at such a premium, and so much resistance towards expanding into the countryside, what exactly is the problem with reclaiming graveyard sites for use by the living? The dead can't care about it, and if the living want a focal point for their mourning/remembrance, surely a garden bench or tree or even an urn on the mantelpiece is surely a more fitting and probably more ecologically sustainable way of doing it?
You have to wonder how Bieke Vanhooydonck (Friday letters ) feels about nominative determinism? Perhaps a little left out...
Tom H, London