Saturday 29 December 2018

Week 19 - The Grambler congratulates Sir Michael Palin

Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will.

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.

Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy



This week's article may upset a few people... Well, American peopIe. I recently bemoaned the fact that supposedly educated beeb beeb ceeb news correspondents didn't know how to pronounce the word harassment (See Week 5 - The Grambler on Alex Salmond.). Well, I'm on my high horse again...

I am becoming increasingly miffed that Americanisms are creeping into everyday talk here in the old country.

Shoot! Whut you talking bout bro, I hear you ask. Well, here are some examples.

Because so many tv programme providers originate in America, when people refer to a series of programmes, they now seem to say season rather than series. And that bugs me. Why should it, I hear you ask. Simply, I feel that season suggests something that happens year in and year out. Sadly, that is the case with American programming; if a programme is successful, it will be continued until people get fed up with it, whether the quality of the show has been maintained or not. Generally, the quality is no longer there. Basically, an idea is milked dry and then some. Think Last of the Summer Wine here in the UK, a programme which ran well beyond its sell by date. Mind you, it did provide employment for many over the hill comedy actors. Still Open All Hours seems to have taken on that role of late. Any road up, the point is that, in America, it is expected that a programme will return year after year, so the use of the word season is apt. In Britain, there might be three series and no more; how the fu... How can each series be called a season?

Yeah, I know; I'm just a grumpy old git who hates Americanisms.

Movie for film is another that bothers me.

Butt. That's another one I can't stand. It seems to be used an awful lot these days. What's wrong with bum, backside or good old arse? When did this butt nonsense start? At least we haven't started calling it a fanny, as they do over in the good old us of a. I nearly fell off my seat when I first heard someone describe what we would call a bum bag, as a fanny pack.

When you go into a coffee shop to buy a cup of coffee to take away you are no longer expected to use that term; instead, you ask for whatever beverage it is to 'go'. What is wrong with asking for a cup of coffee to take away?

Speaking of go... don't stop me now, I'm on a roll... I hear people talking about the start of something being the 'get go'. To me, that is just meaningless drivel. What is wrong with a proper word... beginning, that makes some sense? Get go? Utter nonsense.

Twenty four seven. That one really annoys me. Surely it's easier to say I'm always available rather that I'm available twenty four seven.

Nine eleven. That's another one that has been used and overused since the attack on the twin tower buildings in new York. It happened on the eleventh of September, not the ninth of November... Honestly, some people!

Elevator for lift is another I've heard. Call me old fashioned [You're old fashioned. - Ed.]... thanks... but I just don't want such words in our language.
Poor grammar seems to feature as well. When I ask someone how they are, I am not wishing to know if they are good. Good at what? The answer required is that they are well or unwell, not good or bad. I am enquiring about your health; I couldn't give a monkey's about your behaviour.

Business people seem to have picked up on Americanisms in a big way. One expression that I have heard reasonably normal people use is touch base. Sorry pardon excuse me? Touch base? Sounds too close to touch cloth for my liking. They will say, 'We'll touch base soon.' What they mean is, we'll meet and talk. Why can't they just say that.

British people calling our currency bucks is another that I can't abide. We use pounds sterling not bucks. And we've got enough decent slang terms of our own without borrowing the slang for dollar. Smacker, nicker, and my own favourite quids are all there without resorting to U.S. terms.

How long have you been reading this? A half hour? I hope not. It's half an hour, all right?

Where do you go for a meal out? Hopefully, you go to a restaurant and not the horrible sounding eaterie.

Here's another one. Issues. Nobody has problems these days; instead, they have issues. I'm sorry, I just don't get that one.

Thankfully, there are some words which haven't crossed the Atlantic yet. Not quite...

Why do Americans say alternate when they clearly mean alternative? To me, alternate is to move back and forth between two things. Alternating current, for example. The clues are there, American people.

And what is expiration all about? It's expiry for crying out loud.

Math for the shortening of mathematics. The s on the end of the word suggests a plural so maths seems eminently preferable. To old grumpy here Anyway.

Pronunciation is also becoming a bit of a peeve of mine. Over here in dear old Blighty we have begun to pronounce words the same way as they do in America...

Schedule is one that annoys me when people pronounce it skedule instead of shedule.

Lieutenant is another that gets on my wick. So many young people pronounce it as loo tenant [Someone who lives in a bathroom? - Ed.] Ahem... instead of the correct leftenant. Although I have no idea why that pronunciation was ever adopted in English in the first place, as the word obviously comes from the French. We don't say lef when we mean lieu, do we?

Talking of French words do you play the old party game of charades? How do you pronounce the word? [You don't pronounce anything; it's a game of mime. -Ed.] Ahem, where was I? Do you pronounce it charades as in shades or as in cards. You see, again, many are adopting the American 'ades' pronunciation.

Debris with the emphasis on the bris rather than the deb is another.

How long till people in Britain start saying leisure as lee instead of le? Talking of faucets instead of taps? Soda instead of fizzy drink? The list would seem to be endless.

So there you have it; a right old belly ache (grumble) from A for automobile (car) to Z for erm... zee (zed).




Were any famous or notorious people born on the 29th of December? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Charles Goodyear 1800 (The well-known chemist who developed vulcanised rubber.), Andrew Johnson 1808 (The well-known president of the United States of America.), William Gladstone 1809 (The well-known prime minister.), Pablo Casals 1876 (The well-known cellist. Time for our first clip. Have a bit of Bach.), Magnus Pyke 1908 (The well-known scientist known for his eccentricity. Have another clip.  Here he is being blinded by science.), Mary Tyler Moore 1936 (The well-known actress and producer. Married to Dick Van Dyke. [Really? - Ed.] No.), Harvey Smith 1938 (The well-known showjumper.), Jon Voight 1938 (The well-known actor.), Ray Thomas 1941 (The well-known Moody Blue flautist. Time for another clip. Here's a toon about night attire.), Marianne Faithfull 1946 (The well-known singer. Another clip? Why not.  Here are some tears going by. [I don’t know why, but I could go a Mars Bar. - Ed.]), Ted Danson 1947 (The well-known toupee-sporting actor.), Cozy Powell 1947 (The well-known drummy bloke. Have a wee jig with Satan.), Yvonne Elliman 1951 (The well-known singer of this song. If she can't have you, she don't want nobody.  Shocking grammar.), Jim Reid 1961 (The well-known bit of the Jesus and Mary Chain. Another clip? Apparently, they are happy when it rains.), Allan McNish 1969 (The well-known racey car bloke.), Jude Law 1972 (The well-known ectaw.), Kieron Dyer 1978 (The well-known footy bloke.) and Steve Kemp 1978 (The not so well-known drummy bloke from Hard-Fi. Here's Cash Machine.).

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Flambeau,

How nice to hear Yvonne Elliman again. We are three fans who enjoyed her music back in the seventies. We know If I Can’t Have You was her only top ten hit in the UK, but can’t recall what her next best performing song was. Can you help?

Best wishes,

Ike Ontget, U. Outham, I. Mined.




Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? We got a little money back, though not enough to recoup all our stake money. £2.14 back, so a loss of six pees. I won’t bore you with the details, let’s just move on to this week’s games. What has The Grambler randomly predicted for us this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Watford vs Newcastle - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Bolton vs Stoke - Prediction Away win - 10/11

Swansea vs Wigan - - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Accrington vs Peterborough - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Sunderland vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win - 17/20


The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...




Ooh... actually more whopping than last week.




Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which Premiershit club has the smallest capacity at only 11,329. The answer is Bournemouth, or Athletic Football Club Bournemouth to give it its full Sunday name.

One for this week? Which striker scored the first hat-trick of the 2018/19 Premier League season? A secondary question: which club did he score it against? Easy peasy?



As usual, I remind you of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of





And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I believe congratulations are due to Sir Michael Palin and Dame Twiggy. Well done on living long enough to get a gong. It is only right that we should end with a clip featuring Sir Michael from way, way back. Ladeez and genullum, enjoy The Fish Slapping Dance.

Congratulations Dame Twiggy

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at


Happy grambling.


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