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blQQdy ridiculous

A day in Japan is not complete without being subjected to some botched up Eigo, but yesterday, as I took an afternoon stroll through the leafy lanes of Hampstead, north London, I happened upon a sign that was wrong in a very English way. The sign in question was the result of some shamefully shoddy workmanship.

I can picture the scene down at the Road-Sign-Making-Company - a couple of likely lads, sitting at their Road-Sign-Making-Machine, pondering over a large pile of single letters placed in front of them. The sign they had to make was for Templewood Avenue. It was obviously all going swimmingly until they got to the letter O. I guess the conversation went something like this.....

JOHN: Hey, Jack, I don't meant to cause a panic, but we appear to have run out of O's.
JACK: Cor blimey, John. What in Tony Blair's name are we gonna do about that?
JOHN: This is a problem of lexiconic proportions, if ever there was.
JACK: Wait. I have an idea. How about we use an upside down Q instead. It looks almost the same.
JOHN: What a devilishly good idea. No one will ever notice.

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On Friday, 13 May, 2005, Anonymous five-blossom said:

The conversation you guessed is so funny :-))  

On Tuesday, 16 August, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said:

This sign was obviously created by a frustrated scrabble player - imagine getting ready to pack up on a Friday afternoon, and suddenly discovering two Qs in your toolbox on with no Us! (*)

Believe me - a Q is not the kind of letter you would want to be left with in case someone gets rid of all their tiles over the weekend.

The Q is the most difficult letter to play:

Experienced scrabble players fall back on words such as QI (Chinese life force), QAT (a tea-like drug) and QADI (Muslim magistrate).

Fly-by-night scrabble cowboys will resort to the same trick that this Hampstead council worker has tried: "Oh is that a Q? I thought it was an O with a squiggle on top."

Well, guess what? You don't get 10 points for doing that. Oh no! Trying this trick will get you sent "Straight to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200." (Or am I mixing up my boardgames here?).

Don't be surprised to see Qat Street, Qadi Crescent and Qi Avenue in a neighbourhood near you as soon as this guy gets his act together.

(*) No doubt you will have spotted a flaw in the theory, since there is only one Q in a normal scrabble kit. So maybe it was a "Super Scrabble" game. Or maybe he mixed up the pieces from several scrabble games, a Mecano kit and a Paul Daniels magic set. We've all been there...  

On Wednesday, 23 November, 2005, Anonymous me said:

So the. punctuation doesn't! bother, you then? These diligent workmen obviously had a few commas going spare.  

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