Daily Frolic 6: Contradictions

“What do you think we should do?”

“About what?”

“Our climb.”

“Why?”

“Not sure whether we should attempt it.”

“Why not?”

“Well, the summit is above 3,000 feet, isn’t it?”

“So? I’ve climbed Skiddaw many times: it’s quite easy.”

“No, no, it’s not that.”

“So what is it?”

“The weather.”

“What about it?”

“I’m not sure about the weather.”

“Then go on line and check the forecast.”

“But I have done.”

“And?”

“I’m not sure…”

“What do you mean you are not sure? Have you checked the forecast or not?”

“I have, I have, but I’m confused.”

“For goodness’ sake, how can you be confused if you’ve checked the forecast – what did it say exactly?””

“This.”

“Cloud may well rarely cover the summits from mid to late morning.”

“Well …”

“That’s it, that’s it, that’s what they said – well.”

“No, no, I mean …it’s not … they’ve surely … it must be … I think they mean … actually, I don’t know what they mean …”

“You see? Do you think they meant ‘may well cover’?”

“Perhaps. But then, this would contradict ‘rarely’ – I really don’t know.”

“How can they confuse people like this?”

“I’m sure they didn’t mean to; it just came out like this. But they are in good company.”

“They are?”

“Yep, all sorts of people come up with stuff like this. Do you know what a former chairman of the Tory Party once said?”

“What?”

“Having committed political suicide, the Conservative Party is now living to regret it.”

 “Ha, ha, ha, did he really?”

“Yep. They published it in The Independent. Or take this Oxford professor – quoted in the same newspaper.”

“Turkish universities had suffered from the same problems, only worse.”

“A professor?”

“Yep – of Modern History. I remember another quote from The Independent.”

“The [housing] market has been underpinned by a combination of strong demand, full employment, falling unemployment and interest rates remaining low.”

 “Wow: unemployment and full employment at the same time!”

“‘Yep. And this was from The Time Educational Supplement.”

“Performance-related pay will only drive down the morale of lecturers – already at rock bottom.”

 “Oh dear; I wonder how the pay will manage to do this!”

“Yep, this was by the general secretary of a lecturers’ union. Similar contradictions are actually more common than people think.”

“This may well be so, but what are we going to do about our climb?”

“Might as well go round the lake instead – just to be on the safe side.”

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