Floored by door

THE Diary continues to be the only news outlet on the planet that dares to delve into the most provocative and scandalous subjects.

For instance, a correspondent recently pointed out that a nefarious linguistic trick has been perpetrated on human society, with door-signs often stating PUSH or PULL.

The words look disconcertingly similar, which means that an innocent wayfarer is more than likely to stroll up to a door and begin pushing, when he should be pulling, or vice versa.

The Diary – which doesn’t merely identify a problem, but also devises a dazzling solution to it – suggested swapping PUSH and PULL door-signs for the clearer (and more exciting) BARGE and YANK.

Reader Robert Menzies argues that the problem is more technological than linguistic.

“When you have ‘push pads’ and ‘pull handles’ for single action doors,” he says, “it’s generally only a matter of minutes before you will get somebody pushing on the pull handle.”

Adds Robert: “I speak from experience. What was embarrassing, in my case, was that I was the architect who designed the system.”

Mind your language

THE drama of grammar. A Diary reader recently recalled being taught in school that a certain turn of phrase was considered bad form to use when writing.

Which reminds Margaret Thomson of her own higher education, and a rule that was drummed into her young mind.

The teacher helpfully explained: “‘With’ is a very bad word to end a sentence with.”

The BIG difference

A HUGE number of controversial (and downright daft) opinions somehow always find their way onto social media (see Gary Lineker’s numerous missives for evidence of this phenomenon).

Why does this invariably happen? Diary correspondent David Donaldson tells us of a startling study that may have alighted upon the answer.

Says David: “A recent research project has discovered that large amounts of alcohol increases the size of the ‘SEND’ button by 87%.”

Step too far

A RESIDENT of East Dunbartonshire with a keen appreciation of literature gets in touch to ask: “Was John Buchan forced to call his thriller The Thirty Nine Steps because the construction firm ran out of building materials?”

Nifty nicknames

WE continue celebrating memorable workplace monikers.

Says Peter Wright from West Kilbride: “There was a joiner in my firm called Lightning, because he could never hit the same place twice.”

In full Blum

FUN film fact from reader Bruce Johnson: “Anyone who says they want to be a fly on the wall hasn’t watched enough Jeff Goldblum movies.”