#tirednewsflash: the silent wastes


it has been revealed today, amid low levels of other news, that the two silent letters in the full name of journalist and eco-activist George Monbiot have, over the length of his career, added several pages to the combined output of all the paper sources that have featured his work.

author and The Guardian columnist Monbiot (pronounced Mon-be-oh) – 47, 41, 36 – is well known and formerly well respected for his ecological and political writing and campaigning, but this shock revelation is bound to have a significant impact on the sales of his many thoroughly researched and well argued books such as Captive State, The Age of Consent and Heat (no longer available in magazine form), as well as stimulating plenty of teasing and hair tousling from friends and neighbours.

Monbiot’s nemesis, frankly moronic Australian geologist and climate change skeptic Ian Plimer, with whom he has had a public and ongoing spat about whether or not there is anything to worry about, was heard to ‘laugh aloud’ when first shown the news concerning the impact of the silent letters. “You just can’t spell Ian or Plimer any bloody shorter than they already are”, said Plimer to us, on the ‘phone, “I dare you to, you can’t do it. Not that you need to, seeing as the planet’s just fine and doesn’t even need us to have short names. Georgey-boy thinks it does though, although apparently not enough to ever think of changing his name.”

the research, conducted by several research students from the Department of Sociology at the University of Bristol, near Wales, found that the words George and Monbiot have been printed in direct relation to him 489,511 times over his career, which taking Helvetica 11pt and the standard dimensions of the printable area of an average paperback book as our initial experimental conditions, equates to exactly ‘several pages’.

“We felt, given his profile, that it was very much in the public interest that the data regarding Mr Monbiot’s name be made public as soon as it was known” revealed Bristol University Sociology Department spokesperson Professor Christopher Wreeves, whose PhD students have also been responsible for unearthing the truth about Leslie Ash’s disastrous lip enhancements, piecing together the exact events that led up to the tragic death of Rod Hull, and the Hutton Inquiry.

as of yet we have been unable to procure a comment from Mr Monbiot himself, but we were able to confirm from a source very close to his comfortable looking Oxfordshire home that the Monbiot family is descended from French aristocrats the Ducs de Coutard, who fled the Loire valley in 1789 for fear of their heads, and changed their family name from Beaumont to cover their tracks. when asked to speculate on why they didn’t choose a more British sounding surname like Cholmondeley or Ravenstruther,  or why George wasn’t named Albert, or even Bertie for short, Wikipedia was unable to say.

all-in-all in, it’s been a rather uncomfortable day for Mr George Monbiot, and we like you wait with bated breath to see whether he bows to the now exponentially growing public pressure to put his money where his moniker is and drop the superfluous, planet killing silent tee and e.

gorge, the ball’s in your cour


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  • Comments (2)
    • Susannah
    • June 10th, 2010

    I venture to suggest that Ian Plimer could, at a stretch, be spelled “E.N. Plyma”, thereby saving a further two letters (though no characters if you count the necessary full stops. But they are smaller than whole letters, and therefore more ecological).

    • it depends how you say ‘ian’, reader susannah. i pronounce the second syllable with the schwa sound ‘uh’ as in ‘ee-uhn’ rather than ‘ee-en’, which in my opinion is basically just like ‘hell-in’ or ‘cris-tiff-er’.

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