About 85% of job applicants seem to be unable to spell the word liaise. I know this for a fact: I've counted. Nearly everyone seems to miss out the second i. It's uncanny.

Actually, it's not uncanny at all. Do you know why so many people miss out the second i? Because they write their CVs using Microsoft Word™, which tells them that it should be spelt liase.

True, in a sensible world, the word liaise wouldn't have that second i, but the world isn't sensible, so the second i is there (doing nothing of any value). If all words were spelt phonetically (or should that be fon-e-ti-klee?) we wouldn't need spell-checkers, but, given that we do need spell-checkers, shouldn't we be able to rely on them?

Once again, Microsoft churns out unreliable software, and we buy it. It would appear that the spelling of the word liaise isn't the only thing that's stupid in this world.


Has the world gone completely mad? A woman has successfully sued a stage hypnotist for re-awakening memories of childhood sexual abuse.

Don't get me wrong: such awakened memories, be they real or imagined, must be extremely traumatic for the individual concerned, but blaming the person who awakens them sets a dangerous (and stupid) precedent.

Where do you draw the line? I once knew a trainee teacher whose memories of childhood sexual abuse were re-awakened when they were being taught how to recognise the signs of sexual abuse in their pupils. Should they be entitled to sue the teacher training college? If a war veteran is distressed after watching a war documentary on television (or reading a novel like Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong), should they be entitled to compensation?

I believe the case in point was won because hypnotism has an air of mysticism about it: it has the ability to delve into our innermost being. Does it bollocks! Hypnotism is not some mysterious state of mind; it is simply going along with what you're being told to do (usually to avoid conflict or embarrassment). It is no more a state of mind than mowing the lawn, watching TV, or reading a novel.

Some people under hypnosis claim to have regressed to former lives. An uncanny number of them turn out to have been ancient Egyptian slaves. Presumably, if they remember being mistreated by evil masters in their former lives, they will now be entitled to some sort of compensation from their hypnotists.