Riddley would be proud

“John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, has spent £645 updating the sign on the front of his office,” reports today’s Times. “To ensure that visitors don’t get confused, the old sign, ‘Office of the Deputy Prime Mininster’, has been replaced by one saying ‘Deputy Prime Minister’s Office’.” While I sympathise with the Times’s outrage at this waste of money (and that’s just Prescott’s lunch), its spelling of “minister” doesn’t help its case – why, it’s almost verging on the reasonable to correct a typo in a sign on the door of an MP, no matter how dubious his claim to office may be. More layers of irony suggest themselves, indeed, as it becomes clear that this typo couldn’t have been associated with a more appropriate “mincer” of the language, as my old friend Riddley Walker – whose literacy skills incidentally trounce Prescott’s – would no doubt have described him.