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15:18 UK time, Friday, 30 March 2007

Rob from Cambridge trots out the old urban myth about the origin of 'back to square one' in radio soccer commentaries. It's true that the pitch was divided into eight nominal squares (in a diagram in Radio Times) but square 1 was a corner square (obviously) so the ball went "back to square one" no more often than it did to any of the seven other squares. The phrase certainly didn't mean going back to the start since the centre spot was on the cross point between the four middle squares. 'Back to square one' just comes from Snakes-and-Ladders-style board games.
MJ Simpson, Leicester, UK

Re: Prisoners held in record numbers. Aren't they being held in cells anymore?
Nigel Macarthur, London, England

Re: Cameron rapped over fundraising. For a moment I thought the Tory leader was following up his webCam with an attempt to get in the charts with an mp3 download. Only to be disappointed when I clicked the link.
George Shaw, UK

Jamie - Ichthyosaurs and pleasiosaurs are not dinosaurs, though you are right about the Iguanodon. If you want to include other prehistoric reptiles, you've got to go back at least to the "beast of Maastricht" - an 18th century Mosasaur discovery - anyway.
James Dignan, Dunedin, New Zealand

Jamie in East Sussex says he's "a qualified geologist not some pedantic loser". Having once (briefly) been out with a geologist I can assure Jamie that the two are not mutually exclusive.
Sarah, Dartmouth, NS

Dear Sir, I note with some concern that you are publishing letters from qualified experts. I believe this goes against not only the MMs remit but against the whole ethos of the BBC. The BBC is here to represent the British public - and I think you will find pedantic losers out-number qualified experts in every area. P.s. I think you'll find ps requires two periods.
Andrew, Malvern, UK

I am a small farm labourer of low social rank and I have a blocked nose. Do you consider me a pedant?
John Thompson, Southport, UK

I would just like to report an incident that happened at work yesterday. One of my colleagues, in an incredible act of sucking up, creating a page on Wikipedia on our boss. Can anyone beat that?
Gareth, Tokyo, Japan

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