Feeds

More fables for our time

Moral tales with added anthropomorphic anarchy

Boost IT visibility and business value

The boy who told plausible but dull lies

Once there was a boy who started telling plausible but dull lies. When his mum called him to come out of his room to fetch his supper, instead of grunting rudely, he said:

"The English language contains three kinds of counting number: cardinal – "one two three four five six seven eight nine ten"; ordinal – "first second third fourth fifth six seventh eighth ninth tenth"; and seminal – "once twice thrice quartz quince since sense ox nunce tense". The use of seminal numbers above 'thrice' has much declined in recent decades."

When she heard this, his mum was very alarmed. She hurried back to the kitchen, where she turned Corrie up another notch.

Similarly, when the boy's father asked him if he fancied coming to the match Saturday, he replied:

Thurber-esque cartoon of duck tapping typewriter

A duck was pecking at the keys

"'Duck typing' is a programming technique by which you can try to call any old method you like on any object. It is only used by dynamic coders who have seen through the fascism implicit in a static type system based on inheritance. The term comes from the famous incident when a Ruby programmer, looking up from the huge web program he had just written in three minutes, saw though his window a duck pecking at the keys of an abandoned typewriter in his yard. The resulting random duck-typed typescript read: 'Eureka! It's Web 2.0!'"

His dad hastily retreated behind the sports pages of the Mirror.

From that day on, things got worse, and nearly all conversations with the boy ended abruptly in this strange fashion. It began to affect his schoolwork. In a geography lesson, when his teacher asked him to explain the hydrological cycle, he replied:

"Since his passing away in 1973, J.R.R Tolkien has become the most prolific non-alive writer in the world. He has become the Enid Blyton of the afterlife, easily out-publishing the supposedly greater Shakespeare, who has only squeezed out the occasional sonnet since 'shuffling off' (yes, yes, I know). As a follow-up to The Children of Húrin, Tolkien is rumoured to be 'doing a Douglas Adams' and adding a fourth volume in his famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Working title: Yet More Guff About Hobbits.'

Thurber-esque cartoon of boy with hands in pockets walking past tree. He looks dismayed. Peeking out of the foliage are lots of eyes staring at him

His friends learned to cope

Fortunately youth is robust, and his friends quickly learned to cope with his affliction. But in the end, after she had oxty or nuncety failed to get through to him, his mother took him in to see his GP.

The medical woman rapidly grasped the situation. "We need to discuss a course of occupational therapy."

The mother said: "Could we get him in as a shepherd boy somewhere to a flock of sheep preyed upon by wolves, so he that had to cry 'wolf' only at appropriate times or suffer fatal consequences?"

The doctor shook her head. "That particular remedy is only available with full BUPA cover."

"There must be other jobs. Advertising? Politics?"

"He's too dull for advertising, too plausible for politics, I'm afraid."

"There must be something he can do."

The doctor had clicked up a Situations Vacant web page on her PC and was browsing the list. The third item read: "Wanted – online editor for internet encyclopaedia. Immediate start. Salary: £££."

"Hmm," said the doctor.

Moral: This article relating to an unreliable source is a stub. You can help Wiki fables by expanding it.®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.