24 May 2010

And Then There Was A Missing Country....

While thinking about how to kick this post off, I was reminded of the tale of the novice monk who was sent to a monastery to make copies of the scriptures.

After some time the young monk realizes he is making copies of copies that have been made from copies. He asks the old head monk {Capo de monko capo?} if he can use the originals. He is told that the way he is doing it is how it’s always been done. In fact the originals haven’t seen the light of day since the very first copy was made hundreds of years ago.

Nevertheless, after some deliberation, and accepting the young monks hypothesis that errors could creep in over time and continual copying, he decides to check the originals himself and compare them to the copies so prepares to the library.

The following morning the monks gather outside the library to hear what the Head Monk has to say.

The door opens and the old boy comes out. The monks are shocked to see tears streaming down his drawn face as he sobs uncontrollably.

Through the sobs and tears he manages to gasp, “The word’s celebrate………”

I said that to say this – where is Afganistarn? It must be out there. All the clever people on the radio and TV are constantly referring to the troubles in this Afganistarn place.

Even casting back to my school days, I just can’t remember this country. I’ve been right through my atlas. Yup, I have one of those, and it’s made of paper. Not a hint of an Afganistarn. I even Goggled it – that didn’t get me far, so I Googled it. Nothing. Closest I can find is a place called Afghanistan. The problem with that is there isn’t an R in it. There’s just no R anywhere to be seen. It’s Afghanistan. And it’s R less.

Despite the lack of an R, could this indeed be the place? If so why, oh why, do all those cleaver, important people on TV and radio insist on calling the place AfganiSTARN when it seems obvious to me, assuming I’m right, that it’s AfganiSTAN. STAN not STARN.

What am I missing here? Woz I out of the classroom when they were teaching this strange English language thingy with R’s? I remember the lessons about ‘silent letters’ but I’m pretty sure I must've missed the ‘invisible letters’ class.

I then realized that almost all the really, really important people have the same STAN/STARN problem when it comes to absolutely any country ending in STAN. Pakistarn ring a bell? It only seems to be the endy bits though ‘couse when we were over that other place a while ago, I don’t remember any reports relating to Port Starnley, do you?

Here’s a bit of a list, and I guarantee if any hit the news it’ll be STARN even though STAN = homeland and STARN = Well, STARN. Right?

Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan, Dagestan, Baskhuristan, East Turkistan, Rajastan, Baluchistan, Pakthunistan, Khurdistan, Khuzistan

So how many transitions did it take to get from STAN to STARN? And how long did it take?

You’ve sent WHAT? You’ve sent three and four pence ‘couse we’re going to a dance?

Quote; Robert Benchley.

“Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.”

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