} Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats, I'd like to... yes,
} thank-you everyone. I hereby call this seven-thousand, eigth-hundred
} and fifteenth meeting of La Commission du Perversion de la Langue
} Anglais to order. I remind you all that today's meeting will be
} conducted entirely in British upper-middle-class English.
} First item on the agenda is the previous minutes, any comments,
} everyone happy with those... anyone... no, good, thank-you.
} Right, item 2, Funding. Let me just pass out these... yes, pass them
} around please, thank-you... as you can see, we have received a funding
} increase from the French government of a full ten percent, as well as
} another five percent from Quebec. They *do* come with some strings
} that we will come to in a moment, but I'm sure we can all agree that
} this is very welcome... yes... yes indeed Richard, it is just in time,
} yes. Of course, as always I do ask that you keep all funding sources
} confidential, we don't want another Meech Lake Accord, do we? No
} indeed, that was a close one.
} Now, oddly, we have for the first time received funding from a United
} States private benefactor, I'm afraid I don't have a name, but I did
} speak to him on the telephone and he had a distinct Hispanic accent, so
} that explains it, I think. Yes indeed, very unusual, and I did have my
} doubts at first, however the telephone conversation put my mind
} completely at rest.
} Any other funding notices from anyone... no? Right-oh, we'll move
} Item 3, Dissociated Vocabulary. It seems that with the increase in
} British television being shown in the United States and Canada, most
} North Americans now understand that the word "flat" means "apartment".
} We've had a good run on this one, but I think we can all agree that it
} is time for a change.
} Yes, Jennifer...? Oh, an excellent question. Indeed, we do have a
} strong Australian influence in popular news in the US, yes, but it just
} hasn't been enough, I'm afraid. Nobody there watches the news any more
} apparently, unless there is a war on, and sadly images of Iraqi
} apartments... err... my apologies, *flats* are few and far between.
} Anyway, I took the liberty of passing this problem to the Vocabulary
} section last week, and they have come up with a suggestion, which I'll
} pass around now. There we go... yes, as you can see, they have
} attempted not only to add a new word, but to apply it only to the more
} affluent section of British society, creating a dissociating both
} within the country and outside. They suggest the word "slice". The
} reasoning is complex, as you can see, but in summary they noted that
} expensive flats tend to be much larger, in many cases almost the entire
} floor of a building, hence the term "slice".
} If you'll turn the sheet over... thank-you, you'll see some of the
} suggested usages... "I just paid half-a-mil for my new slice.",
} "Outstanding slice in the centre of London, available August first...",
} "Hey darling, have you ever seen my slice?". Yes, they do always sound
} odd the first time, don't they?
} Preliminary studies estimate the acceptance index at just above 0.7,
} which I think you'll all agree is excellent. Can we have a quick vote
} on proceeding with this operation? All for.....? One, two... oh my!
} Against? None, excellent! Carried unanimously, thank-you all.
} Item 4, Funding Conditions. Let's deal with the Quebec one first,
} shall we? As you are aware, the word "rotie" is a Quebecism meaning
} "toast". However, they would like to confuse translation by adding a
} new kind of toast, which is... ahem... toasted on only one side. They
} intend to use the word "rotune"... yes... very drole, indeed. Now,
} they wish to ensure that no similar English word arises, hence the
} additional funding. With your approval I will accept the increase and
} pass this project to Translation, may I have a show of hands for...? Oh
} indeed! And just to confirm, against...? None? Excellent, unanimous
} again! I look forward to ordering rotune in fancy English restaurants
} in the not-too-distant future.
} Now, the French condition will be a little more difficult, I'm afraid.
} It touches on the Quebec condition too, actually, so it will be quite
} complex. They want us to somehow muddle up the meanings of the word
} "square" so that it has associations of "flatness", as well as with
} boring people. I think there are definate hooks there already, but they
} want us to do better. My personal view is that we need to commission a
} feasibility study, anyone else have an opinion? No? All in agreement?
} Jolly good, no need for a vote just yet, I'll pass this to the Meaning
} Finally, item 5, Spelling. The latest survey results are in, and my
} goodness are they exciting! For example, we now have over fifty percent
} of Americans, and I use the word in the common muddled meaning, of
} course, no offence intended to Mexico or further south, anyway, over
} fifty percent of Americans and Canadians can no longer spell the word
} "through" with more than four letters. Astonishingly successful! The
} Written section has been putting long hours in on this one for quite
} some time, and I feel that it is time to recognise them for their
} efforts. All in favour of a ten percent bonus? Excellent... and all
} against? Oh, John, you have objections? Oh, I see, fifteen percent?
} Well, certainly, all in favour of fifteen percent? All against? Once
} again, unanimous!
} Well, thank-you all for coming, I'll see you all next week at the
} conference. That concludes this meeting.