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15:54 UK time, Friday, 7 December 2012

This Mayan apocalypse thing may well be true. I've just scored 7/7 on the weekly quiz!
Ian, Redditch

I am becoming increasingly irritated by reports in which costs or savings are quoted over non-unitary periods of time. The archetype on This Side of the Pond is exemplified by the current discussion on the "fiscal cliff" wherein spending cuts or tax revenue increases are always given in squillions of dollars over ten years, for example. Now I see this trend striking closer to (ex) home: "The extra tax could amount to £20m over the next two years..." My immediate cynical guess is that two years is the estimated attention span after which Starbucks hopes we will have forgotten what the row was all about. Thank you for indulging my little rant, I'll get all three of my coats between now and Tuesday.
John Marsh, Washington DC, US

Eric, of Bristol (Thursday's letters) - ha ha! See, it is all very silly!
Catherine, Southampton

Shiz, Cheshire (Wednesday letters) - thanks for enlightening me. Your illustration of inappropriate use of LOL reminds me of the time our elderly neighbour, whose name was Joy somethingorother, came to tell us she had accidentally run over her cat. My missis, ever sympathetic, put her arm round her and said "Oh Joy!" Sometimes I still ROTFL when I remember it. There! See what I did? I used textspeak just like wot you taught me! Woo hoo! Hmm. Perhaps I'd better just get back to the skittle alley.
Paul Morris, Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon

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