A landowner in Harold has been praised by the Campaign for Clear English, after erecting signs everyone can understand.
Instead of the legally complex, four-syllable ‘no trespassing’ missive, Sir Reginald Benn-Hooper CBE has instead decided to tell ramblers to ‘f**k off’.
“It’s refreshing to see such a frank approach to language”, said Lyn Sharp of the word charity. “Even if English isn’t your first tongue, this will let you know where you stand. Or rather where you shouldn’t stand. We’ll be OK here, won’t we? I don’t think he’ll try and shoot at us again.”
Lyn Sharp explained that the sign was a ‘triumph of succinicity’, describing it as ‘terse’, ‘efficient’ and ‘darkly threatening’.
“It’s not so much what it says directly, but the subtle subtext”, she went on. “These two simple words let you know that not only is the land private, but that it’s owned by someone aloof, someone privileged. Someone prepared to risk manslaughter to keep the plebs out of Benn-Hooper Spires.”
Sharp also praised the full stop, which is unusual for a sign post. “It’s a terrific way to finish, and it emphasises that the writer isn’t about to enter into a discussion. It’s the sort of finality you’d only normally expect to find on the top of an i. Or a j. I think that’s right, remind me to look it up when I get back to the office.”
Sir Reginald accepted the prestigious award by fax, after refusing to allow us to deliver it by hand. His acceptance speech was refreshingly brief.
“Are you c*nts still out there? I thought I’d already told you to f**k off. Much like my surname, this thing’s got two barrels, you know.”