Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on gems, grammar and the hunt for a non-colonial language

For the time being, the controversial diamond the Koh-i-Noor will remain on show at the Tower of London. But a new display will demonstrate the Tower’s woke credentíals, describing the massive gem as “a symbol of conquest.”

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The famous Koh-i-noor diamond in the priceless coronation crown of the Queen Mother

So if the Koh-i-Noor is a symbol of conquest, what exactly is the Tower of London, a bouncy castle?

In other woke news, Oxfam apologises for publishing a new inclusivity guide in English which it admits is “the language of a colonising nation".

Just to set the record straight, English is also the language of a colonised nation, a hotch-potch of nouns and verbs imposed on us by a succession of extremely unwoke people for whom the only good Briton was a dead Briton.

PS: Other colonial languages include French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin – again, all languages that people want to learn. Offhand, I can think of only one language that is untainted by colonialism and developed in a spirit of world understanding and peace. It is the made-up language Esperanto, and hardly anybody speaks it.

Anyway, if it’s time to apologise for the English language on imperial grounds, it must surely be the end of the road for Latin. Finis viae, so to speak.

I referred a few days ago to selling a boat. Now, there’s a word that means different things to different people. When I described buying an earlier boat, it raised a little flurry of letters from the far-flung readership of this column. Readers in landlocked Shropshire assumed it was a canal narrowboat, the metal-bashing, petrol-headed West Midlands readership reckoned it was a power boat and my readers in Jersey assumed it was an ocean-going yacht. Nothing so spectacular. I’ve actually owned a succession of traditional gaff-rigged sailing boats. Red sails in the sunset, and all that stuff.

A doctor who repeatedly sent obscene photos of himself to former medical students has escaped being struck off after the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service described him as “an otherwise competent doctor”. Meanwhile, King Herod has been appointed Child Care Officer for Palestine. The appointments committee admitted the Massacre of the Innocents was regrettable but in other respects Herod was “an otherwise competent monarch”.