Friday 9 September 2016


When I was at the 'what-shall-I-be-when-I grow-up' stage a job existed which was called "Continuity".  I fear it was actually called "Continuity Girl" but let's gloss over that and get on with the post.  For those of you looking up at us old ones from below the turning point between young and getting-on, continuity was what film makers needed to make sure everything was as it should be in films of a different period from the extant one. Well, actually even in films set in contemporary times too.  For an accurologist like me, it was both annoying, distracting and triumphing to spot the lapses.

I have no idea whether or not this role still exists but it certainly should.  Last night on television  I watched a replay - yes, another, - of a series where more than three murders routinely occur.  Part of it was set in North Wales.  Be prepared, Dear Readers, to be shocked.  The indigenous characters were given SOUTH Welsh accents.  I listened hard, I turned the volume up, I set the cat on 'mute' but, in spite of all that, there was no doubt: the North Waleans were speaking with the wrong accent. I was powerless to do anything to correct this outrage.  That programme was years old and, I think, the series is now filed under redundant.  Simlarly, in a film set in wartime, which I watch a while ago, about an attempt to assassinate Hitler, my continuity of interest was halted every few minutes by observing the German soldiers saluting one another with the sort of curved sweep of the cap practised by the American army.  In the entire three hours there was only one "Heil Hitler". Surely, the people responsible for authenticity must have realised this.  Or  was it a blatant ignoring of how it was, or, shock horror, was it a deliberate decision not to cause possible offence to those to whom Heil Hitler would have had a terrifying retrospective death ring. But, wouldn't it be true to suppose that anyone with personal experience of that epoch who allowed themselves to watch the film would have been prepared for retrospective nausea and fear with the experience?  On a lighter beam: in a 'Waitrose' shop in central London recently, (up-market Supermarket if you are over the Pond or elsewhere than the UK) I had cause to call for the Manager.  "Young man", quoth I, "that sign should read "8 items or fewer", not "8 items or less."  In the same way, checking in at the Out Patients section of a rather glamourous hospital, I spotted a sign which read " It is essential that children are supervised at all times."  To the young Receptionist whose first language was not English, anyway, my pointing out that it should read "be supervised" simply rolled off her back.  But, Oh, what fun to be old enough to say these things and revel in the resultant 'I've got a right one 'ere' response. Bore da

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