Christmas Confusion Corner

1. I always think it’s funny when people explain why, for example, they decided to go with a small ad agency rather than a big one: ‘I’d rather be a big fish in a small pond,’ they say, ‘than a small fish in a big pond’. Well, unfortunately, the size of the fish doesn’t change, just the size of the pond. You, person who needs to feel more significant, are actually a small fish in a small pond. A big fish in a small pond would be, say, Nike choosing to give their account to Joe Bloggs Advertising. Moving the Tunnocks Teacakes account to such a place is merely double small.

2. Why do people add ‘aholic’ to words when they want to convey an addiction to something? Alcoholic is just ‘alcohol’ with ‘ic’. Instead of workaholic, hard workers should just be workic.

3. ‘Have you got anything smaller?’ shopkeepers say as you hand over a twenty or fifty pound note. They have a weary air of accusatory disappointment as if you’re draining their till of valuable change for the day. But what they fuck else are they going to use their tens and twenties for? A twenty pound note can only be of any possible use when making change for a fifty, and a ten for a twenty. You’d think they’d be more annoyed if you bought something for £1.12 with a fiver. That takes loads of valuable change out of the till, but they never seem to mind that. I think it’s just something they’re trained to do in shopkeep college, like writing that sign that shows they can’t deal with more than two schoolchildren at once. If I were that inept I’d keep it to myself.