Evidence that ambiguity in a newspaper headline could clear the streets of the vulnerable very quickly

The following was one of the headlines on the BBC news website tonight.

'New PCs will boot in seconds'

So now anyone in Britain too old, too poor (and too sensible) to have got used to the world of Personal Computers thinks that there is a new cohort of Police Constables on the streets who will not hesitate to kick anyone who doesn't do what they're told immediately.

'Madam', said PC Smith, who had not kicked anything since scoring an own goal for his school team in 1978 and was now itching to have another go, 'you have precisely 0.4 of a second in which to stop asking me for directions
after which I am afraid I will have to implement our new public order procedure.'


  1. Gives a whole new slant to putting the boot in...

  2. Funny! I love the British term for what we call speed bumps...sleeping policemen. Language really is a funny thing.

  3. How our perspectives do change

  4. Good!
    A giggle-at-able headline . Dutch newspapers haven't provided many this week .

  5. I think this would only happen if you were unfortunate enough to cross a PC with an Intel chip on his shoulder.

  6. See, if it had said "New PCs will boot up in seconds" that would put an entirely new light on it... PCs wearing stiletto body boots and the like.

    Actually, not sure if that's any better.

  7. Or of course there might be Politically Correct Booting. That might be nice.

    (You are silly, Fran. Did anyone ever point this out?)

  8. Jinksy - my life's work, putting a new (if fatuous) slant on things.

    Nana - yes, that is very strange, that we call them sleeping policemen. This will explain why people race over them and do them as much damage as possible.

    English Rider - it's a slippery slope ...

    SmitandSon - I think I might find the average Dutch headline a lot more than ambiguous.

    Martin H - ha ha. Very good.

    Steve - Ah, but all ambiguity would have been reduced.

    Isabelle - Yes, lots of people have pointed it out. It hasn't stopped me.

  9. He, he,he too visual, love it.

  10. We could use a few new "PC" policies here over the pond. :D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  11. Oh, you're so naughty! I'd like to see a PC boot someone, though. A snotty teenager maybe.

  12. Eh up! I loved the visual of the PC Booting up... but I don't think they do it these days because they are preoccupied with catching the career criminals... you know the ones... doing 36mph in a 30!

    P.S. why are you starting a new blog?

  13. Annie - I just wanted to separate my more 'lit-based' posts as I noticed that I get two different audiences sometimes. I'll see how it goes ....

  14. Hah! Very good. But also very goo that you explained that one, Miss. Never would I have connected PC to, ah, police constable. Politically Correct, maybe. Ah, the culture gap.

  15. Deborah - Ah, yes, that gap. And you're right - I did actually put in Police Constable on purpose. You see, I do think of my audience occasionally ...!


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