Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend Puzzler Part 2

O'Docker nicely pre-empted the second part of this weekend navigation puzzlers, by raising the very valid question - does it matter?

For as you see above the PLA vessels that was surveying the Thames to ensure charts are up to date (and hence was displaying the restricted ability to manoeuver shapes) sped off at the end of the day no doubt to have a refreshing cup of tea without taking down the shapes.

And they are not alone as I don't think in all my sailing I've ever seen the sailing vessel under power shapes, despite often seeing and being in yachts motoring along.

There are two schools of thought. Firstly there is Commodore of the fleet (retired), owner of the Pedant of Cowes, author of many a letter to Yachting magazines complaining of the lax behaviour of the youth of today in not flying the correct signals.

Then there is the O'Docker school of thought - look, we're grown up, we have eyes, for heaven sake this is meant to be an escape from the button down rules on land (I paraphrase, maybe a spokesman or alumni of this school could chip in some words of wisdom).

So which side of this fence do you sit?


Tillerman said...

I'm all in favor of fences as long as nobody sits on my fence. Fences make good neighbours. NOW GET OFF MY LAWN.

Pat said...

| Carol Anne would probably say that fences, or virgules as they are known in her trade, have limited grammatical applications. |

Context is rather important; mariners transiting an area that is rife with recreational craft will have different expectations than those transiting a busy harbour or busy shipping lanes dominated by commercial traffic.

Tillerman said...

Never sit on a virgule.

JP said...

Pat that's very true but all to often in the Solent the two mix.

I think the golden rule is the very useful one keep your eyes open at all times / behave in a nautical manner / keep the right side of the virgules!

Carol Anne said...

I haven't dealt with virgules in many long years. They're rather dangerous little buggers, unless you're French.

Now, semicolons, that's another story.

JP said...

I read somewhere that the semi-colon is becoming endangered as writers are confused by their usage and instead are using colons or commas.

Hopefully you can prove me wrong so we can all see one in action!

Carol Anne said...

Semicolons and commas have distinct functions, and so they are seldom interchangeable. Colons may be used in some (but not all) of the same situations as semicolons, so they're harder to regulate.

I have noticed that writing from the U.K. seems to have more problems with commas being used where semicolons belong. Writing from the U.S. seems to have more problems with semicolons being used where commas belong.

Perhaps I should write a blog post to set the record straight.

O Docker said...

Semi-colons and colons are not at all interchangeable.

One's a smile:


One's a wink:


JP said...

A summary of the comma vs semi-colon would be very useful as at the moment I'm with O Docker on the relative uses.

But to be honest ;) works but ,) not sure, maybe its a one eyed man winking?