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February 2009

A Cloudy Language #13, #14 and #15

“The outlook is really rather quiet, with soft days on Wednesday and Thursday – lots of cloud around.”
Jo Blythe

“Notice how it fizzles out, the rain. The main energy goes well through.”
Dan Corbett

“That ridge of high pressure – it's almost like you've put some glue on the back of it. You stick it to the weather map and just watch it for a couple of days.”
Dan Corbett

(NB: We may have to exclude Dan Corbett's more colourful pronouncements, as he's clearly doing it deliberately.)

Full set here

A poem about lost brands


Had this poem knocking around my head for a while. Not sure if it’s finished yet. I think it is. (But feel free to suggest some more verses.)

What if

What if Cif was Jif?
What if Olay was Ulay?
What if Morrisons was Safeway?
What if C was still &A? 

What if Treets were still sweets?
What's with Immac and Veet?
What if Fruits were still Opal?
Whither Constantinople?

Wasn't there a shop once
called What Everyone Wants?
Where did everyone go?
How come Do It All don't?

What if Liptons lived on?
Where's Radion gone?
Why did Boo take a bow?
Where's our Principles now?

What of Kwiksave and Cullens
and Dolcis and Dillons?
And Marathon bars?
Is Our Price still ours?

Why did Rumbelows close?
What if nobody knows?

Thanks to Paolo Margari for the pic.

Dodge or Fall?


The Guardian is running a series of stories looking at the schemes UK companies use to avoid paying their fair share of tax. The names given to these ingenious tax dodges are strangely resonant – things like “The Double Luxembourg” and “Outward Domestication”. In fact, they sound very much like lost B-sides by Manchester songsmiths The Fall.

See if you can tell the difference between a corporate tax avoidance scheme and a Fall song title, by playing our soon-to-be-household-favourite game:

Dodge or Fall?

1. Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage
2. Hybrid Debt Instruments
3. Hexen Definitive Strife Knot
4. Auto Tech Pilot
5. Thick Capitalisation
6. Corporate Inversions
7. Octo Realm Ketamine Sun
8. Intangibles Fragmentation
9. Senior Twilight Stock Replacer
10. Aspen Reprise
11. Dividend Traps
12. Dutch Sandwich
13. Bremen Nacht Run Out
14. Systematic Abuse
15. Swiss Roundabout
16. Imperial Wax Solvent
17. Defeased Leasing
18. To Nkroachment: Yarbles

Either turn your screen upside-down or stand on your head for the answers.

Picture 7