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WE’RE discussing office culture. Malcolm Boyd from Milngavie used to work at British Leyland in Scotstoun. One of his colleagues always had a clean desk at finishing time, with his In Tray, Out Tray and Pending Tray all cleared.

“After a few months, I asked how he managed to complete all his tasks, every single day,” says Malcolm. “He replied that he used… The System.

“He then explained that every afternoon he took all his current paperwork and put it into an envelope which he addressed to himself. He then placed the envelope into the internal mail system. Three days later the envelope was returned to him for further work.”

Finances and feathers

THE Government’s Budget statement was this week, and our readers are always willing to provide much-needed economic analysis.

Jennifer McDonald recalls being a young girl when she first heard a journalist mention the Budget on the TV news, and she asked her father what it meant.

Says Jennifer: “Dad helpfully explained that a budget was the female gender of a budgie. Unfortunately when I proudly boasted of my in-depth knowledge of current affairs in school the next day, my ignorant teacher felt compelled to vehemently disagree with my wise pronouncements.”

Quick, quick slow

OUR linguistically-limber readers continue translating foreign languages into English.

In the 1960s Jim Hamilton’s Latin teacher always attempted to find a Glasgow alternative for Latin phrases.

“One that I remember is ‘festina lente’,” says Jim, “which has the unusual meaning of ‘make haste slowly’. My teacher translated it to ‘hurry up and take your time’.”

Madcap moniker

NUTTY nominative determinism. Doug Maughan read an article about a murder in the Bahamas in the 1940s.

A key player in the event was the islands’ chief medic, whose name accurately reflected both his medical eminence and his exotic rural base.

He was called Dr Hugh Quackenbush.

Progressive politics

IT occurs to reader Keith Sanger that in a previous leadership race focusing on Scottish independence, Robert Bruce had to kill a rival.

Adds Keith, optimistically: “Does the fact that today’s candidates only slag each other off demonstrate how much more civilised Scotland is today?”

Tricky truth

AN irritated Karen Browning from Paisley hates the phrase ‘to be perfectly honest’. “Is it possible to be imperfectly honest?” she asks.

Signal to noise

WISE reader Harry Cook says: “Fun fact. You can easily replicate the sound of hitting two coconuts shells together simply by riding a horse down a cobbled street.”

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