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Regular Reg readers will be aware of our commitment to the dissemination of international peace and love through the ethical application of information technology.

They also know that, being British, we will occasionally lay down our love standard and take up the sword of sarcasm. Especially if it involves having a go at the Canadians. Or the French. Or both.

Well, our Win a Toboggan competiton all proved a bit much for Ric Bresee. Then, no sooner had we put him in his place, than world + dog weighed in. Pretty soon, Canadians were falling over each other to defend their countryman, Martin Chaput of Montreal included:

I am also insulted by your ignorance. We don't use a baseball bat in the winter. Most of the baseball bats are made out of aluminium and are too fragile and break in the cold when we get to play outdoors at minus 30 degrees. No, we use hockeys sticks, because if you happen to break one, you can still use the broken parts to impale the occassional grizzly that try to eat when you're tobogganing in the Rockies or Appalachians.

Thanks for that. We're always happy to be set straight on technical matters.

Of course, it wasn't merely our ignorance on seal culling that had to be addressed. What about that cheap jibe at the expense of French speakers? JF Boismenu reckons that our sense of humour is:

...a very bad one indeed. That last bit about French Canadians is bad humour, toilet humour in fact. What a pity. If you were a printed journal, you wouldn't get away with this. I won't say that I'll never read "The Register" again, but you guys truly disappoint me in this case.

Of course we'd get away with it. I refer readers to Kieren McCarthy's recent piece for Conde Nast Traveller magazine: 'French Canada - Wtf is that all about, eh?'

Let's be thankful, finally, for Vincent Montambault, who has a firm grasp on the international language of humour, if not English:

My point here is that I'm a french-canadian (it's why you will probably find some mistakes in that e-mail), and I have nothing to do with the rest of the Canada. I have the sense of humour, and your story about the toboggan, I found it funny. I don't know why, but you don't seem to like french-canadian. Can you give me a good explanation why you don't like us?

Vince, Vince, I'm going to say this just once. We do like you. We love you. Honest ;-)

Bootnote

Marco van de Voort had something to add to our assertion that:

"We may be a small island, but we do have something going for us - a sense of humour. Oh yeah, and we don't speak French. Not anywhere."

Or speak any other language, or try to abroard. Also anywhere. :-)

This is not the first time that a representative of The Netherlands - that distinguished nation of cycling polyglots - has cast aspersions on our linguistic abilities.

For the record, here is a breakdown of Vulture Central language skills. Let this be an end to it:

  • Linus Birtles - The international language of lurv
  • Robert Blincoe - Editorialese
  • Drew Cullen - A smidgeon of French
  • Viki von den Driesch - You guessed it: German
  • Thomas C. Greene - Korean and some Chinese
  • Lester Haines - Portuguese and Spanish
  • Linda Harrison - French and Spanish
  • John Lettice - French and German
  • John Leyden - Fluent Mancunian
  • Mike Magee - Sanskrit and Hindi
  • Kieren McCarthy - French
  • Andrew Orlowski - Unknown at press time
  • Pranav Oza - Gujarati
  • Tim Richardson - West Country English and Gibberish
  • Tony Smith - HTML, Perl and Javascript

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