Friday, 30 November 2012

Bertie expands his vocabulary (with Robert Jay QC)

I hope my regular readers will by now have realised that, with Gail's assistance, I attempt to uphold the highest standards of written English on this blog. After all, there are plenty of other places on the internet if you are looking for illiterate and dumbed down versions of the language.

This week I decided it was time to expand my vocabulary, and Gail helpfully pointed me to a video she found on the Guardian website, produced in the wake of the publication of the 'Leveson Report' (an inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press) and featuring the lead counsel to the inquiry.

It is titled 'Learn to speak like Robert Jay QC'.
Now sadly, Lord Justice Leveson's report did not tackle the challenging topic of Internet ethics, a subject which will be of much concern to my fellow canine bloggers, who so frequently suffer the indignity of being photographed while in bath, enduring treatment at the vets, or when dressed in ridiculous outfits purely for the entertainment of their humans.

Time to put that right.

And now that you have watched the video you will have absolutely no difficulty understanding any of the following.

First, I want to adumbrate any potential criticism of this post by emphasising that the topic of invasion of privacy on the internet is neither nugatory nor recondite, and lies squarely within the bailiwick of this blogger. The propinquity of pups to their human carers, the invention of the digital camera and the widespread availability of broadband services are all deleterious to preserving canine confidentiality. Adventitious occurrences of an embarrassing nature can be captured on camera and instantly broadcast  across the globe. One can pelucidly voice one's objections until the cows come home, but the roads to justice are frequently occluded and condign punishments of the perpetrators are, regrettably, seldom enforced...

I hope that's all clear now...


  1. We need to read that on our kindle so we can touch the word and see the definition!! But we got the gist of it!

    Lilly, Piper, Ivy and The Sweet Buglets

  2. Very clear, thank you Bertie. And as always, thank you for your dedication to the written word AND dignity of dogs everywhere!

    Your pal, Pip

  3. Oh Bertie you have enlightened us so and with such dignity! You have totally made our day again with this post!

    urban hounds

  4. Well clear Jeeves opps sorry Bertie. You are indeed very learned. We suffer to the amusement of our peeps with not even a treat in sight. Time to rebel. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  5. You said an Elegant mouthful here buddy. LOVE it.

  6. I couldn't have put it better myself!

  7. Well now Bertie, being we are from Oklahoma us semi-rednecks are having a somewhat difficult time following the dialog and verbage.

    See ya'll
    Your Pals
    Susie & Bites

  8. Oh Bertie, if only we could get a law passed to keep our peeps from all of our invasions of privacy!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  9. Oh Bertie! Handsome AND well spoken...A wonderful combination! Meanwhile, mom is reading books by Tana French lately - Irish murder mysteries (how festive!) and is learning lots of new slang: "making a bullock of it..." comes to mind as that is something she does regularly...Just sayin.'

    -Bart and Ruby

  10. That's as clear as it's going to get at 5:45 am BEFORE coffee.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  11. Hmmm, Bertie. As a lifelong admirer of Sir Winston Churchill you might want to take a thought or two from him.

    Churchill said:

    Use simple words everyone knows, then everyone will understand.

    Confucius said if language is used incorrectly, what is said is not what is meant and the people stand about in helpless confusion.

    Simplicity ensures your message is memorable – whether you are writing a press release, proposal, a blog post, a whitepaper, or even a simple email. When it comes down creating a message, remember something else Churchill said:

    Strategy is all very well, but it pays to give thought from time to time to the results.

    Understanding is the result you want in anything you communicate. In the end, that’s it. So get rid of that jargon.

    But if you don’t care about that, and you want to be forgettable, read that contract again written by your lawyer, real estate agent or mortgage broker. Now I have to say in your case, and mine, that is very good advice.

    If those on-line people you are referring to as iliterate are being understood, that is probably better than what you have just said. Give it some thoughts, Bertie!

    Aunty Stella

  12. Bertie, Mom and I just spent 15 minutes reading the dictionary. Thanks pal :S

    Waggin at ya,

  13. Crystal old bean, crystal......! Deccy

  14. Bertie,
    Momma and I marvel at the richness of the English language. We salute your continued determination to expand our vocabularies.

    Now I have to watch that movie again and take notes.


  15. OH MY DOGS Bertie this is crystal clear and I'm most impressed. Mom says some of the youngsters need a few English lessons.
    Hugs Madi

  16. Bertie when you write to Santa Paws may we suggest you keep it simple. We don't think he has room on his sleigh for a dictionary.

    Just a thought.

    Have a good Sunday.

    Molly, Taffy, Monty and Winnie

  17. We loved the video, and even learned one new word! Thank you, young Bertie. Although Mr. Jay, QC, would make a better impression if he stood tall instead of slouching while using the Queen's English with reasonable verve and aplomb. We don't agree with the premise that it is better to 'simplify' [or dumb down] language; it impoverishes the language and eliminates the nuance of the well chosen word.

    However, as to your substantive point: we agree. Although we find turning our heads or backs at the last second, or just moving out of the photo entirely, is helpful in thwarting mama when she tries to invade our privacy. That and the fact that she almost never has her camera to hand when we're being especially photographic.