Competitions nos. 158A and 158B: results

Frank Sidgwick is back, with a curious competition about punctuation and meaning. He imagines an eminent general dictating ‘It was the hardest day’s fighting I have ever known,’ and his secretary sending it to press, only for a printer’s reader to question the apostrophe, and for there to be a subsequent discussion between Secretary, Reader, General, Editor, Sub-editor etc.

The entries don’t really impress Sidgwick, since, he observes, no competitor has considered what was in the General’s mind. Sidgwick contends that we use ‘one of the’ to indicate a reservation, i.e. he’d had much harder days. Nor did anyone debate whether day was the substantive qualified by fighting or the other way round. (He asks, ‘Is a month’s holiday a holiday of a month or a month of holiday?’)

The report is quite short, with some reference to hyphens (it’s pretty obscure), and the second prize is withheld. Only Guy Innes gets through, commended for his realism.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere we go with the B competition:

At the Indignation Meeting of Animals to Protest Against the Use of their Names in Derogatory Metaphor by Humans, a lead was given by the city representatives – the Bear, the Bull, the Stag and the Guinea-Pig [how did the Guinea-Pig get in there?] Sidgwick wants the names of the other twelve protestants with (very short) reasons why they were protesting. 24 competitors submitted 282 animals (in 67 species) from Elephants to Nits. In order of occurrence: Pig (17), Cat and Dog (16 each), Ass (15), Rabbit (14), Rat (13), Goat (12), Fox and Sheep equal (10), Skunk and Elephant equal (7). There was one Beetle, and no Lobster (why would there be?). (Sidgwick adds that Lizard must be the latest addition to the list.)

Sidgwick admits to being bored reading repeatedly that Cats were tired of being tokens of mean and vindictive women. An entrant called Sedulous Ape is ticked off for writing 300 words where Sidgwick had asked for abbreviated reasons. Others abbreviated so much that they were incomprehensible. However, H.C.M. and Pibwob made it past the scrutineer:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s