Jobsworths’ jargon and what it really means

  • Your letter has been carefully considered and its contents noted = I haven’t looked at it.
  • A full survey of the problem has been put in hand = Nothing will be done.
  • I assure you that action will be taken as soon as possible = Nothing will ever be done.
  • Urgent action will be taken in the very near future = Nothing will be done until hell freezes over.
  • I fully appreciate the problem = I couldn’t care less.
  • I have every sympathy with your point of view = I’ve already forgotten your existence.
  • You are fully entitled to make your views known = Nobody here takes the blindest bit of notice.
  • Your complaint is being fully investigated = Your letters have been filed in the wastepaper basket.
  • Your complaint appears to have some validity, and will be thoroughly investigated = Your letters were torn into small squares before being dropped in the wastepaper basket.
  • I will refer the matter to the appropriate department = Your letters have been shredded, your computer file has been deleted and all future correspondence will go straight into the wastepaper basket unopened.
  • A full and detailed reply will be sent to you in the near future = You’ll never hear another word from us.
  • The possibility of an administrative/computer error is being investigated = Life in this office is one foul‑up after another, but you’ll never get us to admit it.
  • You will appreciate the complex nature of this matter = I just can’t be bothered to think about it.
  • The increase in our charges is, regrettably, unavoidable = You are going to pay for my bonus.
  • This department endeavours to process all matters outstanding with the minimum of delay = I’m playing golf this afternoon.
  • I will be delighted to see you to discuss the matter at your convenience = Just try getting past my secretary.
  • I do not really feel that any useful purpose is to be served in pursuing this matter further = Get stuffed.
  • May I assure you of our attention and consideration at all times = Go and boil your head, And then get stuffed.

Life of Pi

LoPDirected by the Oscar-winning director of Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee and Based on Yann Martel’s bestselling Mann Booker Prize winning 2001 novel, Life of Pi (Which is on my list of novels to read) has been described as is a Magnificent and moving film which starts with adult Pi (Irrfan Khan) recounting the incredible experiences he had as a boy (Suraj Sharma) after his zookeeper parents (Adil Hussain and Tabu) decide to leave the serenity of their lives in Pondicherry, India, and board a ship travelling to Canada in order to start a new life.

Unfortunately the ship goes down drowning everyone except Pi (Suraj Sharma), a zebra, an orang utan, a shrieking hyena and the tiger named Richard Parker which is named after the hunter who captured him. Needless to say Pi’s journey is perilous and Pi, who claims to be Hindu, Christian and Muslim, finds his faith severely tested when the ship goes down and he finds himself Sharing one lifeboat for 227 days at sea with a starving Bengal tiger. This reminds Pi of The maxim “survival of the fittest” and the mistake of treating a wild animal as human. So he leaves Richard Parker alone on the lifeboat & fends for himself on a raft he ties alongside.

Suraj Sharma uses his expressive eyes to good effect, hinting at the brutal extent of the torment he is going through whilst trapped at sea. The film also stars Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Gérard Depardieu and was scripted by David Magee (Finding Neverland), with cinematography by Claudio Miranda.

Les Misérables

lesmisDirected by King’s Speech Oscar winner Tom Hooper the film adaptation of Les Misérables has been described as a feast for the eyes and ears, which overflows with humour, heartbreak, heroism, rousing action and ravishing romance. It is adapted from Victor Hugo’s massive 1862 novel spun around the 1832 Paris student uprising And the stage adaptation by by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer. It stars Hugh Jackman as a thief named Jean Valjean, who is locked up for nearly 20 years for stealing a loaf of bread, but escapes and makes a respectable life for himself as a small-town mayor. But he can’t rest. Hunted relentlessly by the policeman Javert (Russell Crowe), Valjean is almost caught again when he tries to help poor, doomed Fantine (Anne Hathaway), a factory girl who sells her hair, her teeth and her body to support her child, Cosette.

It’s up to Valjean to save Cosette from the clutches of the Thénardiers, greedy innkeepers who treat Cosette like a slave while spoiling their daughter, Éponine (Samantha Barks). Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter play this gruesome twosome with delicious mirth and malice. Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) falls in love with a handsome student rebel named Marius (Eddie Redmayne), with whom Éponine is also in love. Meanwhile there is student revolt led by Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) Marius and a street urchin named Gavroche (12-year-old Daniel Huttlestone) who are pretesting about the Government’s treatment of the poor and destitute in Paris, however Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) plots to crush the protest by force and predictably this all ends in tragedy…

Srinivasa Ramanujan

Researchers have finally solved the cryptic deathbed puzzle which renowned Indian mathematician  Srinivasa Ramanujan claimed came to him in dreams. Born 22nd December and described as a raw genius, he overcame many hurdles to find a place among the celebrated intellectuals of Cambridge, despite failing the college course in India twice.

While on his death-bed in 1920,Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematician, wrote a letter to his mentor, English mathematician G. H. Hardy, outlining several new mathematical functions never before heard of, which behaved differently from known theta functions, or modular forms, and yet closely mimicked them, along with a hunch about how they worked. Ramanujan conjectured that his mock modular forms corresponded to the ordinary modular forms earlier identified by Carl Jacobi, and that both would wind up with similar outputs for roots of 1. However, no one at the time understood what Ramanujan was talking about and It wasn’t until 2002, through the work of Sander Zwegers, that we had a description of the functions that Ramanujan was writing about in 1920. By drawing on modern mathematical tools that had not been developed before Ramanujan’s death his theory was proved correct. The formula explaining one of the Modular functions could help explain the behaviour of black holes.

The findings were presented last month at the Ramanujan 125 conference at the University of Florida, to mark the 125th anniversary of the mathematician’s birth on Dec 22nd. SadlyRamanujan passed away at the young age of 32 of tuberculosis, but he discovered many existing results independently, as well as making his own unique contributions to maths, and has left behind formulations in mathematics that have paved the path for many scholars who came after him, and the formula could explain the behaviour of black holes.

Bureaucrats: How To Annoy Them

Best remembered as the motor-mouthed frontman of The Sky At Night ,Sir Patrick Moore, who sadly passed away recently aged 89, had another side, as a self-appointed scourge of bureaucracy. In 1981, and under the pen-name R. T. Fishall, he published an irreverent guide to causing havoc and taking vengeance on the people who were burying Britain under paperwork and tying the country up in red tape.The book, now sadly out of print, was called Bureaucrats: How To Annoy Them, and it was inspired by a correspondence with a man named Whitmarsh from the Southern Gas Company, who had sent Moore a final demand for £10 of repairs, despite the fact that the central heating at his cottage in Selsey, West Sussex, was oil‑fired.The great astronomer snapped. He realised that Britons everywhere were being harangued, overcharged, harassed, bullied and driven to distraction by the Whitmarshes of this world — or Twitmarshes, as he renamed them.‘We are not ruled directly by Parliament,’ he wrote, ‘but by minor officials — bureaucrats of all descriptions, safely embraced in the arms of the civil service, with immunity from dismissal and nice, inflation-proof pensions.’The dedication of the book made his intentions clear: ‘To all bureaucrats and civil servants, everywhere. If this book makes your lives even the tiniest bit more difficult, it will have been well worth writing.

  •  Never say anything clearly. When writing to jobsworths and timeservers, word your letter so that it could mean almost anything…or nothing.
  • Don’t be legible. Always write letters by hand, and make your verbose scrawl as impenetrable as possible.
  • Garble your opponent’s name. Misread the signature. If the correspondence is signed ‘M. Harris’, address your reply to ‘N. Hayes’ or ‘W. Hardy’. Don’t get too flippant though — the penpushers might lack a sense of humour, but if you write to ‘M. Hedgehog’, they will sense a legpull.
  • Give fake references. If you have a letter from the tax office, ref: EH/4/PNG/H8, mark your reply with some other code in the same format, such as DC/5/IMH/R9. This should ensure that the taxman wastes minutes, or hopefully hours, rooting for a file that doesn’t exist.
  • The same goes for dates. Get them slightly wrong, every time.Stamp away: And make sure it’s in the wrong place
  • Follow up your fakes. Write to request a reply to letters that you haven’t sent, and include bogus reference numbers. This is a surefire timewaster and might even, if your Twitmarsh is of a sensitive disposition, reduce him to tears.
  • Never pay the right amount. Include a discrepancy in every envelope — never too much, but always more than a few pence. A sum between £1.20 and £2.80 is recommended. Then you can start an interminable correspondence to reclaim the overpayment (or dispute the underpayment).
  • When enclosing a cheque, staple it to the letter. With two staples. Or three. Right in the middle of the cheque. At the least, you’ll waste someone’s time — at best, you might wreck their computer.
  • As a point of honour, never give up on a correspondence before at least six pointless letters have been exchanged. Think big and aim for double figures.
  • If a postage-paid envelope is not supplied by your Twitmarsh, send off your reply without a stamp. The bureaucrats will have to pay much more at the other end.
  • Put the wrong postage on, Or put the stamp in the wrong place.
  • when filling in a form, always keep a candle handy. Whenever you come to a box marked ‘For official use only — do not write in this space’, rub the candle gently over the box. A thin layer of grease will make it impossible for your Twitmarsh to write on the paper, and might muck up his ballpoint, too.
  • When filing in forms, do not feel obliged to use English. Why not employ that smattering of Spanish you picked up on your holidays, or the residue of schoolroom French from your third- year days?
  • If you or a friend speak a really obscure language, so much the better — especially one that doesn’t use the Roman alphabet. .Nothing makes Twitmarsh’s brow perspire more freely than the sight of a form filled out in squiggly script. Do the first page in Russian, the second in Chinese and the third in Hindi. For extra marks, find someone who speaks Klingon, Sindarin or Quenya, or write a letter using Zapf Dingbats.

New Years Honours List

This year Olympic athletes,coaches and organisers comprise more than 10% of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year honours list. Among them UK’s first Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins is to be given a knighthood after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France, win an Olympic gold, and be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year. and Four-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie also gets a knighthood. Mo Farah recieved CBE for his triumph in the 5000m and 10000m and Cyclist Victoria Pendleton was also awarded a CBE.

a special honours list was added to recognise the 65 medals, 29 of them gold, won at this year’s Olympic Games, as well as the 120 medals – including 34 golds – won at the Paralympic Games, including Paralympic wheelchair athlete David Weir who won four golds, was made a CBE, and Paralympic cycling champion Sarah Storey who won four golds in the Paralympics, is to be made a dame. Meanwhile Heptathlete gold medallist and London 2012 poster girl Jessica Ennis recieves a CBE. Andy Murray, who won Olympic tennis gold before becoming Britain’s first men’s Grand Slam champion for 76 years, receives an OBE. knighthoods also go to Dave Brailsford and David Tanner, performance directors at British Cycling and British Rowing. CBEs also went to rower Katherine Grainger and cyclist Victoria Pendleton.OBEs go to equestrians Sophie Christiansen and Charlotte Dujardin, Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, who won two golds at London 2012, and cycling couple Laura Trott and Jason Kenny. Among those to get MBEs are boxer Nicola Adams; canoeist Timothy Baillie; equestrians Laura Bechtolsheimer and Carl Hester; rowers Katherine Copeland and Helen Glover; wheelchair racer ‘Hurricane’ Hannah Cockcroft and Paralympic swimmer Josef Craig.

Elsewhere Triathlon gold medallist Alistair Brownlee, Welsh taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones, Paralympic blade runner Jonnie Peacock, long jump hero Greg Rutherford and silver medal gymnast turned Strictly Come Dancing star Louis Smith all get MBE’s. This year 127 awards have been handed out to those involved in the 2012 Olympics, and there was also recognition for those behind the Games. Including Paul Deighton, who was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.Lord Coe, becomes a Companion of Honour & Jean Tomlin, who led the Games Maker volunteers, gets an OBE and volunteer Muhammed Khan gets an MBE. Meanwhile Stella McCartney is also named an OBE for services to fashion – and Team GB – in 2013 New Year Honours List

A Companion of Honour goes to Professor Peter Higgs, who finally proved the existence of the Higgs boson or so-called ‘God particle’ in July 2012, 48 years after he first proposed it. Captain Raymond ‘Jerry’ Roberts, 92, one of the four founder members of Bletchley Park’s Testery section, tasked with breaking the German top-level code during the Second World War receives an MBE.  Penelope Clough, 53, also receives an MBE after setting up the Justice For Jane Campaign with husband John after her daughter was murdered by her ex-partner. Sport makes up about 10 per cent of this year’s awards, education 10 per cent, health 7 per cent, and industry and the economy make up 12 per cent.