There are certain words and phrases throughout language that just sound better in their original form. As used in the title of this blog, Audi have dined out on one of the most famous straplines the world over since the 1970s. OK, that example is quite specific, but that hasn’t stopped the likes of Blur, U2 and perhaps the best loved of all – Del Boy – using it to some effect in recent years.
The English language is full of phrases and words that whilst essentially alien to us, seem as natural as the tides of the sea and the phases of the moon when used in the context of our conversations today (Although quite when I’m ever going to use Menage a trois in meaningful way is anyone’s guess!)
The truth is that these phrases are so ingrained in our language that they just wouldn’t have the same impact if we began to use the translation. Audi’s strapline would suddenly become a rather drab “Advancement through technology” or to be precise “Headstart through technology”.
So what has all this got to do with mountainbiking? Well, I spent this afternoon patching up a few tubes that had fallen foul of a few thorns recently. Whilst this exercise is very straightforward, if not a little dull, I wondered what the enclosed instructions could possibly say about patching a tube.
The following is exactly how the uninitiated are supposed to fix a puncture:
“Mark size of patch-roughen well, remove dust dry Apply fluid and spread Led dry until no longer tacky (back of finger test). Pull off metal foil-center patch and press hard Pull of cover foil Vulcanises without eat.”
Clear as mud (a phrase not to be confused as further instruction!) I’m so glad my Dad taught me to fit a patch when I was about 8 years old.