Saturday, 6 February 2010
OF BOATS AND GOATS
There is, the sublime Dante devised it, an especially unpleasant place in hell for the "authorities" who stick up signs and notices all over the Estuary to advise, warn, command and inform their fellow men.
Apart from anything else the people who frame these dismal notices are generally unable to handle the English language, our most precious jewel. My pet hates of the moment are those little signs which mar the rails near the sluice gates at Lympstone and which dictate: BOATS MUST NOT BE TETHERED TO THESE RAILS or words to that effect. Nor does there seem sufficient reason why boats should not be 'made fast' there or even, if you must, 'tied up'.
I have been tempted to sneak down there one moonlit night - but the weather has been so cold lately - and neatly transliterate so that 'boats' reads 'goats'. A passing goatherd would be a more likely target for this particular daft diktat.
Fortunately nobody takes much notice of notices but they are an eyesore just the same.