Thursday, June 17, 2010


Okay -

Spick and span
Ship shape
Nick nacks

Why do we do things in this way? Why is everything spick and span but never span and spick? Why can't nack nicks be shape ship, why can't we have bobs and bibs as well as bibs and bobs, and, for that matter, why can't we go slop-slap-slip and slap-slip-slop as well as slip-slop-slap? Are we scared of letting our little children use saw sees, or, if you are an American, totter teeters? Are we unnerved by the thought of bop-be or hop-hip music? What is it?

Do we think if we suddenly switch these little phrases around, everything will go out of control, that the entire world will run skelter helter, piggledy higgledy for the hills? That matter will go turvy topsy when the clocks start going tock tick instead of tick tock? Do we faintly suspect that there is something slightly perverse about crying hoo boo instead of boo hoo? Will the world really fall in on itself if a dog wakes up in the morning and decides to go wow bow?

And stop hee teeing up the back! This is a serious matter!

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