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Monday, November 1, 2010

biting is un-English

One of the newspapers I have been using for my thesis is the weekly New Statesman and Nation, and one of the things I love about this particular paper is its feature, 'This England', which appeared every single week. Readers sent in cuttings from papers, journals and signs all around Britain which had turned out to be unintentionally funny. I find them hilarious, and wanted to share some with you. These are all from 1942, so it's three years into the second world war:

"It is very un-English to bite people, and I would like you to impress that on these men," said Mr. J. H. Campbell, K.C., R.M., at Belfast Custody Court to-day to the captain of a Dutch ship who was acting as interpreter for three of his crew who were charged with disorderly behaviour at a dance hall in the York Street area last night.
The captain replied: "It is very un-Dutch, too, your Worship."
- in the Belfast Telegraph.

A Good Omen in the Scullery?
I set a mouse-trap (break back) and caught three mice at one setting. It happened on the night of November 7-8, when Oran and Algiers were invaded--surely this is a good omen?
- Letter in Picture Post.

Wanted: an ISLAND on the Inner Hebrides, with ancient Castle preferred.
- Advt. in Oban Times.

Exp. Swineherd, C.O. but athlet. fit. (tho' now no wght.-lftr owg. accid.) mst. obt. lghtr. lndwrk. or hosp.). Oxon., Hons., Phil. Pol. Ecn. Sh.-tp., sec. knldge., resp. admin. exp.
- Advt. in New Statesman.

His crew, on the other hand, he said never failed to enjoy the excitement of being depth-charged.
- Report in the Manchester Guardian.

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