Sunday, September 27, 2015

On having a bird (of sorts)

Tim Dee in today's Guardian - do we really need this juvenile simile?

In my birdwatching lifetime, blackcaps that breed in southern Germany and Austria (the birds are mostly grey and look like handsome German soldiers in greatcoats) have started coming north-west to Britain in the autumn instead of heading south. 
To explain the title: "to have a bird" - "einen Vogel haben" - means being mad in German.


After encountering a hefty dose of Pinker-bashing at this year's Anglistentag, I thought it a lovely bit of irony to stumble over this at the station bookshop in Paderborn on my way home:

I simply had to buy it.