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TSO

Once upon a time in my life, TSO stood for the "Toronto Symphony Orchestra". Today, it stands for "The Stationary Office", apparently. The English alphabet needs more letters; or perhaps English should just make more effecient use of its less-well-used letters to avoid so many duplicate acronyms.

I have barely flipped through a few pages of the Life in the UK book, and already I am indignant. Part of its required knowledge is an NHS phone number which has two digits too few to be valid as a current UK phone number. *sigh* The booklet is right. I have now fact-checked. But I am now indignant that NHS is messing with the telephone system by having a phone number which does not map onto a standard length. Also, I had thought I would briefly skim the book; now I am deeply certain that I shall sink into a morass of fact-checking because of things like this which seem too improbable to be true. And I already know some of it won't quite be true thanks to ambient media coverage.

It is never possible to proofread too much.

Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
friend_of_tofu
Jun. 18th, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
Jeez, what? That's ridiculous.
owlfish
Jun. 18th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
I now wish the real exam were to be able to provide the government with a certain quantity of corrigenda to the booklet rather than be tested on its content.
(no subject) - friend_of_tofu - Jun. 18th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Jun. 18th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
alexmc
Jun. 18th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
> two digits too few

why do you say that? We do have 999, you know. There is no reason why we cant have short phone numbers in particular forms.


But, yes, it really is a stupid book which does not serve its purpose,
owlfish
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
Four digits are also an acceptable format for texting things to or for dial-around prefixes.
annafdd
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
OMG, do we have to memorize the phone numbers? I am SO fucked.
owlfish
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
No, no! I am certain you do not have to memorize phone numbers! It is a multiple choice exam which is designed so that at least 90% of people taking it will pass! It will not be that challenging or obscure.

But in theory - certainly not practice - we are responsible for the entire content of the booklet. And thus for its mistakes.
pfy
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
I have never needed to know those things, and if I did I could easily look them up. If it were up to me, the citizenship test would consist of practical examinations in rather more important aspects of Britishness, such as Queueing, Making A Nice Cup Of Tea, Grumbling About The Weather, and Going Down The Pub.
owlfish
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
I will never be eligible for Britishness because I do not Drink Tea (although I can, at least, make it).
(no subject) - friend_of_tofu - Jun. 18th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pfy - Jun. 18th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Jun. 18th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Jun. 18th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
clanwilliam
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
Well, if you haven't heard me rant about some of the history stuff, you're in for a treat. I was rather surprised to learn that the Irish were immigrants in the mid 19th century, you know, what with having MPs in Westminster and all. I also wonder what nationality all four of my grandparents were in these peoples' eyes: all four were bom UK citizens, three of them in what is now the Republic of Ireland.
owlfish
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
This sounds faintly familiar, but I think I shall be all too happy to have sections of this booklet pre-critiqued for me, so I don't have to worry about doing it myself.

Doubt is so time-consuming!
(no subject) - annafdd - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - annafdd - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
austengirl
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
If nothing else, it is a goldmine of trivia. Though I've managed to forget most of what I had to learn.
owlfish
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
But is it all entirely true? *Does* every town or city in the UK have at least one public library? Is there some town out there which has none? Or had one when the booklet came out, but has had it closed due to funding cuts?

(I really thought I would just spend a quick evening browsing this booklet. It's very inconvenient to find myself doubting all of its nuances now. I do hope I get some good trivia out of it!)
(no subject) - owlfish - Jun. 18th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
miramon
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Of course when TSO was HMSO everyone knew what it was. But then they did the usual pseudo-privatisation rebrand on it...
owlfish
Jun. 18th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Now I want an orchestral arrangement of this booklet.
(no subject) - the_lady_lily - Jun. 18th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - the_gardener - Jun. 18th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
momist
Jun. 18th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
I've never heard of TSO . . .
"It is never possible to proofread too much."
But perhaps it is possible to be too critical after doing so? I often wonder if I should have been a proof reader, as I am pedantic enough, and always seem to notice every error by others. (But, sadly, never my own). :)
owlfish
Jun. 18th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
Re: I've never heard of TSO . . .
The comment made more sense in light of my initial misunderstanding of the text (now crossed-out). But since the sentiment wasn't untrue, I left it in.

I know I'm being hyper-critical of this particular text; but now that I'm attuned, it's hard to stop.

Edited at 2010-06-18 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: I've never heard of TSO . . . - owlfish - Jun. 18th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
coth
Jun. 19th, 2010 05:18 am (UTC)
Surely an example of something that could not be done well but nevertheless needed to be done?
saffenn
Jun. 19th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Once again, your posts and comments have left me thoroughly entertained and contemplative. :) Good to see the citizenship test is as confusing as the semantics and syntax of the driver's test I took in Florida in 2005. And by good, I mean sad...
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )