Monday, July 27, 2015
I was once the treasurer for a Boy Scout troop. That usage effectively describes a small but indefinite number of folk. Despite the difference in spelling, that description also applies to a "troupe" of actors, and possibly of musicians. The plural form has long been used to describe an indefinite number of warriors. For the most part, these are soldiers (or possibly marines). Unfortunately, that plural form has become used as a synonym for soldiers as in the ugly expression that (say) "23 troops were killed". This usage is too well entrenched to be eliminated, so that all that one can do is to deplore it.
Monday, July 20, 2015
I was never much of a cricket player, unlike my relative Peter Lindsey-Renton, who for many years played for Reigate Priory club in the city of my birth. When batting, I never scored many runs, although a report from my prep school mention that my stone-walling could break the heart of opposing bowlers. I was delighted that at Dartmouth I had the choice of sailing or rowing, rather than playing cricket. My lack of interest in playing did not extend to my interest in the game. As a resident of Surrey, I was a natural supporter of that County team. I still remember some of the names of famous Surrey cricketers, such as Laurie Fishlock. I especially appreciated the bowling talents of Alec Bedser, and his teammates Lock and Laker. I still go online to checkup on the doings of England in Test Matches. (As a small child, I never understood why people were interested in "Test" Matches: why were there never any real matches?) When fielding, I did do some wicket-keeping, but mostly spent time closer to the pitch, at Point Slip, or Gully. As a small boy, I spent many hours playing dot cricket. This involves using a pencil and bringing it down with eyes closed onto a piece of paper marked up to indicate runs or wickets.
Friday, July 10, 2015
This imagery comes from an article I read recently and, in rejoicing at the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality, it seems most appropriate. There was a time, many years ago, when I thought it funny to imitate the speech of what Arnold Schwarzenegger called "girly men". I remember an Episcopal priest, personally welcoming to gay men, whose explanation for their sexual orientation was that something was "missing" in their personality. I have long been a supporter of LGBT causes. I sometimes do online surveys, and am amazed when one question frequently asked is whether I, personally, know any gay or lesbian person Years ago we used to say "some of my best friends are Jewish", in an attempt to brag about how open-minded and tolerant we were. I can certainly say that,concept truly (but not boastfully) about my many of my friends whose sexual orientation is not mine. I should mention that my complete acceptance of equality has been encouraged by my membership in the Episcopal Church.