Adventures in Language: April Fool Day

April Fool

I hope you were agreeably fooled. The Today Prrogramme, which I wake up to in the morning, gave it all away for most of the papers. Including my beloved Guardian. As it turned out, this year’s joke is ingenius rather than so subtle you’d be scratching your to find it.

The idea of Guardian Goggles, with apps to ensure loyal Guardianistas can go through life being fed only information that embodies a liberal bias, is brilliant. Oddly enough, this tendency was demonstrated in a thread on the BBC zombie series, In the Flesh. I had been disappointed in the first episode, but heartened to find the second was better. This is my comment:

I watched the first episode and didn’t think much of it. Like Kieren, all too pallid, passive, and sensitive. Second episode is much better, with some real oomph. I like Amy for dragging him off for a day trip, and the introduction of Rick is putting the cat among the pigeons. That vicar is a bad lot.

I don’t want politically correct allegory, I want entertainment that also manages to tell the truth about human relationships, as Being Human did. In the Flesh is shaping up nicely, and I’m looking forward to watching the last episode.

A poster who’s been on cif since 2004 replied thusly:

Reference to “PC” is usually shorthand for not liking the minority under discussion. But you can read the Rotters as any marginalised community you wish.

This was irritating, since I do support most of the values espoused by the Guardian, and I fired off a couple of snippy replies:

Now that is the problem with taking a perfectly good phrase and assuming an inherent bias. Not in my case. I just don’t wish to be lectured.

Come think of it, your comment is the perfect illustration of the April Fool joke in today’s paper.

Many of the things that are correct (in my view) are also politically correct, in the sense that there’s a broad consensus in their favour. Unfortunately, some people who don’t share those views use the expression to suggest a conspiracy to hide facts from the public, or a form of indoctrination. I don’t see why my use of the expression should be curtailed simply because others abuse it. As a result of that abuse, there’s now a knee-jerk liberal reaction, which is as absurd as the original mis-use of the expression.

But enough of that. It’s not often I have a kind word for the Daily Mail, but credit where it’s due. I did like their April Fool article about a toilet roll in Fifty Shades of Grey, to tie in with the novel. A neat way of saying the novel is shit. The comments below the story are particularly amusing, not just the ones that don’t get the joke. This endearingly offf-topic reply wins the Beautiful Railway Bridge prize for providing too much information.

Whilst I appreciate that Poundshop loo roll is OK for you, I personally find that with my bowel complaint that there is such a thing as loo roll that is too cheap. For example, it may not have the softness or absorbancy, so you end up using twice as much. So it can be a false economy. I agree that Aloe Vera impregnated stuff is just a marketing gimmick though.

Of course, the whole story could be true…

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