Sunday, November 15, 2009

The wit and wisdom of Chris Laidlaw

As Winston Churchill said, "a split infinitive is something up with which I will not put."
Laidlaw said this, in the dying moments of today's soporific programme (did you stay awake during the interview with the veteran sports photographer? Bet you didn't). So Chris, you're meant to be clever: show us the split infinitive. Go on.

So all of you be damned,
we can't have Heaven crammed;
so Winston Churchill said,
I could have smacked his head.


Richard said...

You should not mock Chris.

Were it not for him where would one go to reinforce one's view that the world would be a much better place if elitist urban liberal preferences and prejudices were the basis for all the world's decision making?

Dave said...

Most interesting about that is that it's completely reversed from the version of the story that I normally hear (the one in which he decries "the sort of pedantry, up with which I shall not put" or something similar to that).

For all that, Chris is still one of the few intelligent radio hosts left in this country (indeed, about the only radio program I actually make a special effort to listen to when it's on is Matinee Idle).

Paul said...

I understood the original to be "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put." Whether Churchill ever said it is another matter.

Samuel said...

I thought the sports photog interview was alright, actually. What's wrong with me?

linger said...

Churchill's comment was not about split infinitives, but rather about the absurdity of the supposed "rule" not to end a sentence with a preposition. (Hence his phrasing "up with which I will not put", which avoids that supposed pitfall at the expense of creating a thoroughly unnatural word order.)