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Par Avion

A random sample from the British periodicals

Par Avion

Passive attack

Virginia Jim Rhodes: Active or passive? Dep­ends on where you wish to place emphasis, on the actor (subject) or the one acted upon (object). An active verb can convey a powerful message. The most powerful sentence ever written is “Jesus wept”. A subject and an active verb conveying intense emotion. Now for the passive—Isaiah’s mighty prophecy: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder.” And what editor would dare touch this: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.”

The Economist

Testing time

Bournemouth Dr W.D. Cremin: As a ship doctor, I introduced breathalysers on the Queen Elizabeth II in 1972 to help determine whether waiters were pouring soup into passengers’ laps due to inebriation or Atlantic swells. The fact that far less soup was spilt thereafter speaks for itself. Given the now general availability of breathalysers, it should be easy to test pilots before they fly, so that their sobriety is not left to airport staff or cabin crew to determine.

The Times

Strange stirrings

Wiltshire Lt Col Alastair Drew: I am right-handed but stir anti-clockwise. My father did the same, but I cannot have copied him as he was away in the World War II in my early years. My grandfather stirred likewise, but my father can hardly have copied him as WWI ens­ured his absence.

The Daily Telegraph

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