Meldrew Moments

Its on my mind, too.

Sunday evening last week at t’pub, the early evening diners had finished & just the usual codgers remained, moaning about tractors and the weather.

One of the blokes declared it was officially ‘unhappy hour’.


A little tidbit for you. I was Richard Wilson’s neighbour for 8 years. He used to exchange theatre banter with my wife, an avid musical goer.

I had him over once to have a glass of wine in the terrace overlooking southwest London. Should have done it more often in restrospect.

He’s not grumpy and he’s the kind of person you’d like to invite to your house.


The Times afternoon online edition today:

“Brighton University has suggested that staff refer to Christmas as “the winter closure period” to avoid offending students who are not Christian.”

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I just googled this, and a number of sites are covering it; all those I read seeming to be the same extract verbatim though, and deriving originally from The Sun.

Is this advice really the case @Inbar? [You work at Brighton Uni, from my memory?]

I hope it’s just a standard December “Winterval” froth-up from the usual suspects, but one kind of wonders if there may be more to it.

I could quote Nick Davies - "this isn’t journalism, it’s churnalism’… But anyway - nothing I heard about, come across or been advised. Neither has my husband, who also works for the University (in a different department). But if the Sun or Daily Mail (or, indeed, The Times) say so… :grin:


A churnalism froth-up indeed.

Whatever next :~}

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It is said to come from a

“nine-page Inclusive Language Guidance document sent to lecturers”.

An unnamed university spokesman is also quoted, so it presumably isn’t entirely made up. (Though that possibility remains).

I can’t comment on the specific Brighton Uni example, but this annual nonsense is as predictable as Christmas itself unfortunately.

Usually appears in rabid rags like the Mail and the Express, and almost always found to be fictional, or at best, totally misrepresented.


Interesting! We are certainly somewhat obsessed about inclusive language (in HE in general), but if such a document exists and had been sent to academic staff - I’m surprised I haven’t heard about it. I work with academics each and every day (as does the other half) and so can’t imagine this would have not been mentioned, being somewhat OTT… I shall investigate :+1::grin:


I think Universities in general are having to learn to be regularly misrepresented in the media. Very difficult to read sometimes, especially when it’s a distressing case (say a student’s death), and the fiction writers are in their element.


Possibly thread drift but tabloid lies are unfortunately, an infuriating, old tale. My late Dad was a head in far West Wales back in the 70s/80s. 2 pupils in (what was) the 5th and lower sixth got pregnant within a month or 2 of each other. Dads view was they should/could continue with their education before and after, if they wished. In those days, this was sufficient for a tabloid frenzy - single mothers should be pilloried; how dare they come to school. Dad was badgered to speak to the papers - he of course refused. So they made some “quotes” up. Dad was onto the director of education asap - their response " todays papers tomorrows chip papers". P’d Dad off no end

I s’pose in the end it is a Meldrew moment - loathsome irresponsible media and crap employers failing to support staff


This was down the road from me earlier this year…

I also have a neighbour called Victor.


Sounds like they’ve been getting their ideas from Tokyo Vice

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I’m afraid I’m rather more cynical about this, with my experience (second hand, but reliable) that not only can they make things up, but regularly do.

(I had a relative whose job it was to investigate ‘stories’ in the tabloids, because many represent open law breaking - suggestions of fraud, criminality eye etc. Essentially, their take on it was - if it’s in the Mail it’s almost certainly made up, and The S*n and Express, and indeed the whole Murdoch Empire, the only likely truism is the names quoted, and even then, be sceptical.)

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Email from John Lewis this morning, captioned “7 sleeps and counting.”

Do they think I’m six years old?


Not only is that puerile, but also illogical. “… and counting” implies the current total will accumulate but obviously it won’t so it should be “7 sleeps and counting down” surely ?


Perhaps in the present shopping environment a more accurate version might be “7 sleeps and discounting”.


Merry Christmas all!


In a classic case of the snake eating its own tail, the IT department at Stanford has issued guidance that they should not use the phrase ‘trigger warning’ as its connotations of violence might provoke an adverse response (ie a trigger) in some readers.

They also advise against referring to ‘users’ of the website because of its associations with drugs.