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Thursday, September 07, 2006

From my friend Bill

More gems from Bill Bryson's English and how it got that way

Fun Fact: the dying words of French grammarian Dominique Bonhours
"I am about to—or I am going to—die; either expression is used."
My favourite:
"Extract from the Pentagon's Department of Food Procurement specifications for a regulation Type 2 sandwich cookie: 'The cookie shall consist of two round cakes with a layer of filling between them. The weight of the cookie shall be not less than 21.5 grams and filling weight not less than 6.4 grams. The base cakes shall be uniformly baked with a color ranging from not lighter than chip 27885 or darker than chip 13711 ... The color comparisons shall be made under north sky daylight with the objects held in such a way as to avoid specular refractance.' And so it runs on for fifteen densely typed pages." (p 189-190)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope these cookie regulations contain a section governing the smocks to be worn while baking the cookies, including acceptable sizes, colours and styles of the smocks, and the proper manner of wearing and operating them.

-rt

mēgan said...

I should hope so! But if not:

All elements of cookie production shall be completed by a person wearing a regulation Type 2 smock. The length of the smock shall be not less than mid-calf...