As another working week rolls to a close, I’m left with a few pressing, unanswered questions.
1. What is the difference between ‘terminate’ and ‘exterminate’?
I mean, if you terminate something, you end it. And if you exterminate something, you…also end it. Should extermination only apply to a group of things, possibly? But if so, then why do Daleks threaten to ex-terminate individuals? And why, when the meaning is almost identical, is the prefix ‘ex’ used? Ex means from, terminus means end, so exterminate feels like it should mean ‘from the end’. The end of what, Webster? The end of what?
2. Why would anyone make a spoken email alert that sounds like an angry Cylon?
There are three people in surrounding cubicles whose email software, on receiving a new message, goes ‘bleep!’ and then intones, in a low, electronic, so-robotic-you-can-feel-the-corners synth-voice, ‘you’vegotamessgage’, providing the constant background fear of being laser-blasted into space dust. The question isn’t why the voice software exists, but why it’s apparently the default spoken setting on our office computers. It’s downright unsettling, and – even worse – not one of the people whose alert this is has ever heard of a Cylon, meaning that my brilliant Battlestar quips are utterly wasted.
3. 300 pigs have stampeded through a Victorian town.
They were headed for the slaughterhouse when the truck they were in tipped over. It’s like the Great Escape, only without Nazis. Wouldn’t it be fair if we let them go rather than rounding them back up – sort of a, ‘You win this time, pig, but I’ll be watching you!’ dealie? Poor little dudes. If only they weren’t so tasty.