Wery wexing

June 1, 2001

A Glasgow University academic has just returned from a Strasbourg conference on children's issues, addressed by a Norwegian speaking in English. In common with many Norwegians, she pronounced "v" as "w", which proved problematic as her topic was child poverty.

Baffled delegates whose first language was not English buttonholed their Glasgow colleague at the coffee break to ask why there had been a talk on poetry. The Francophone members of the group revealed that their interpreter had spoken on the effects of la poesie on children and how the Council of Europe should target this when dealing with the negative effects of disadvantage.

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