The quote in all the obits for OED superhero Robert Burchfield is his description of English as “a monster accordion, stretchable at the whim of the editor, compressible ad lib”. Even if French dogs did like accordions as much as their masters are alleged to, it would do little to encourage the terminally oppressed Quebec French. Humiliating it must have been when poor old Yvan Tessier felt driven to seek English lessons, but it seems now that the authorities are demanding that his guide dog do so as well.
Retracing my steps slightly in order to enter a slightly less gloomy, parallel existence, here’s an interesting extract from Wendy’s List of TV Ads featuring Accordions:
Ford Contour June 8, 1997 on TBS at 10 pm. We overhear a bunch of junkyard dogs chasing cars and commenting on them, until along comes a Ford Contour, which they are afraid of and which they know they won’t be able to catch, as they discuss it in awed tones. After the Contour whizzes past, a fancy Italian sports car appears, accompanied by a tarantella played on accordion, and one dog says to the other “Hey – you up for a little Italian?”
Cue jokes re dead accordionist, dog in road, location of skidmarks. Yes Mum, this is the publishing revolution I was telling you about.
Barcelona’s dog racing stadium, the Canódromo, is an architectonic miracle–in the sense that it hasn’t yet fallen down–but the whole neighbourhood
- Beware of the saint
This afternoon round the back the cat took a chunk out of a monk with San Francesco d’Apussy delusions. Here, then,
- Man combing Vietnamese pot-bellied pig in Cuenca courtyard
Or perhaps it isn’t.
- Assaulted by a pine processionary caterpillar!
With chunks of Dioscorides and Andrés Laguna, including the wonderful story of what happened when an impotent bridegroom and a constipated
- “Virginity is an overrated virtue”
Granddad’s Armistice in letters and recollections. Glimpses ante hoc of Cameronians & Royal Scots (52nd Division) in the Eastern Mediterranean and