M-Space: The Blog


Thu 22 Mar 2007

Television is a stinky badger

Yesterday morning a friend of mine received a text message from his dad along the lines of "Welsh television is a stinking badger from Java". On further enquiry about this rather cryptic message, he was told to look it up (presumably the Welsh word teledu, which means television) in an English dictionary, but had not had time to do so before he met me and recounted this conversation.

Shortly afterwards, I got a chance to check out teledu in my trusty New Oxford Dictionary of English and, sure enough, I found that it is a noun meaning:

a stink badger that has brownish-black fur with a white stripe along the top of its head and back, native to Sumatra, Java, and Borneo.

I'm not sure when I'm ever likely to need that fact, having survived the last 30 years without it, but in a way it's comforting to know it's there anyway.

I must say, I'm not a great fan of television (although I don't think Welsh TV is particularly bad and would hesitate to go as far as likening it to a smelly mammal). I'm part of what must be a small minority in Britain of householders without a TV set. Certainly the TV licensing people seem to find the concept hard to grasp. I decided that it wasn't really worth spending over £100 a year just to catch occasional episodes of Doctor Who or rugby matches (I was, however, pleased to see the Wales-England game last Saturday on somebody else's telly) or be able to catch up on the news to the accompaniment of gratuitous moving pictures (with radio and internet news readily available, I really have no excuse not to keep up-to-date with current affairs, telly or not). I find my computer works perfectly well as a DVD player, although it's not so great for films I only want to see once or twice (although there's usually the option to borrow or rent those). In any case, I have little enough time for all the other things I want to do, even without the extra distraction of TV to watch. The downside is, who knows what interesting nature documentaries about Javanese Stink Badgers I might be missing?!

Tags: television welsh words

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