The Loop: Kulture Klub

Welcome to The Loop, the Magazine's letters column, including the best of your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook.

This week veteran BBC man Tom Mangold told the tale of how, having decided to answer one of those emails which starts "You don't know me but...", he ended up helping to solve a bloody murder.

Working with the author of the original email, Susan Galbraith, Mangold saw some satisfying resolution to the case. "As the mystery unravelled, Susan and I spent our evenings on the phone sipping Sauvignon Blanc and quietly patting each other on the back. It had been Susan's dedication, persistence and operating skills that had broken the case," he wrote.

Readers appreciated the task the pair undertook, and also Mangold's retelling of the story. "A rather beautifully told ending to a ghastly affair," tweeted Mike Sutton. "What's the equivalent of a page-turner," asked Hannah Banana. "A mouse-wheel scroller? This is one of those."

Thomas Leavitt said he thought it was "an awesome story", but felt Tom had laid on the "dying small town 'American Gothic' schtick a bit heavily".

For Clare Freeman there's a larger question about why Galbraith went to the lengths she did. "If you knew a local murder case would never be resolved, would you give up YOUR life for seven yrs to do it yourself?"

Fishing for justice

Meanwhile the ongoing debate about differences and similarities in national characteristics goes on (as ongoing things do). Regular readers will not have been able to miss the debate about Frenchisms and Englishisms, of which more to follow elsewhere in the Monitor.

But the revelation that the garden gnome, the archetypal symbol of suburban England (and this week the star of the Chelsea Flower Show) originally came from Germany will have surprised many.

"As the first proud Germanic dwarves arrived in England they were promptly re-named as the more humble 'gnome'," garden historian Twigs Way wrote. "The manufacturing heartland of the early gnome or dwarf centred on the town of Graefenroda in Germany... Skilled workers in these 'Gartenzwergmanufacturs' (zwerg being the German for 'dwarf') moulded 3ft (1m) tall figures in terracotta and ceramic mixes, with carefully detailed and hand-painted features. A subsidiary trade grew up in smaller porcelain models mainly suited for indoor use."

Gartenzwergmanufacturs. Magnificent. And Will Dutson welcomed their habitation at Chelsea. "Finally justice has been done," he tweeted.

Paul Cullen, on our BBC News Magazine Facebook page, won't be drawn though. "I'm sitting on the fence on this one (with a fishing rod and a pointy hat)."

K class

The article on a trend for names beginning with K - inspired by Wayne and Colleen Rooney naming their newborn Klay - was met with protest.

"Who KARES?" cried Mar Rom and Oscar Jacobs on Facebook. "RidiKulous," said Ben Macdonald-Evans while Ian Harvey said: "Komplete kobblers."

In the article, Ian Brookes, consultant editor for Collins Dictionaries, suggested the letter C could be done away with altogether. But readers tested this theory to the extreme. Steve Osborn said "Lighten up, everyone, it's just Kontemporary Khav Kulture : )"

Warren Lloyd asked: "Is [Klay] going to sign for Khelsea or Mankhester Kity or ever Kardiff Kity?"

Meanwhile Karl Lewis reflected: "Nice to see I'm part of a trend for once."

Bragging rights

There was some heat in the debate between cyclists and drivers following our article about.. well... the heated debate between cyclists and drivers.

We're not sure if Colin Maxey was trying to calm people down or just brag about all the vehicles he owns.

"I ride both road and mountain bikes recreationally and have a motorbike as my daily commute, as car driving has become too frustrating and expensive," he wrote on Facebook. "I also own and ride a horse and, despite always observing the law and its limits and extending every possible courtesy to other road/bridleway users and pedestrians, I seem to belong to every possible target group and rarely receive the same courtesy back."


And finally our verbatim emails of the week. This came via the form on this page.

"Hello, I used to do your quiz, regularly. I have never yet got 7/7. My wife left me for a local chess champion as she declared I'm stupid. Then, because of my self-pity, I binged out on Mowbray pork pies (the ones with the egg in the middle) up to 14 a day, and put on almost four stone in weight in a month. It was then I stopped doing your quiz and the pounds dropped off.... really! I was slim again and got a new girlfriend called Gloria. She works in a local shipyard as a crane operator and hates quizzes so we are both happy. Please let overweight people know you can loose weight by not doing quizzes." Steve Macbeth, Newcastle upon Tyne

It's not true, by the way.

And finally our potentially spam email of the week from someone calling themselves Gucci.

"I? need to check with you here. Which is not one thing I normally do! I get pleasure from reading a submit that may make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to remark!"

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