Gruts lurker Stense thought it was pretty funny I'd resorted to reading washing-up bowls. Today, I found myself reading a railway ticket. This ticket, in fact:


Notice anything odd? Look again. Look at that date: 08-JNR-08.

SINCE WHEN EXACTLY was January abbreviated to JNR? JNR doesn't stand for January. If anything, it stands for Junior. Abbreviating January to JNR (first, third and sixth letters) makes as much sense as abbreviating October to OTE. In other words, it makes no bloody sense whatsoever.

I'll tell you who's behind this. The French. I'll bet there's some sort of silly euro-month standard so that travellers on Eurostar don't get confused, and the French totally insisted on JNR for January (Janvier)—in the same way as they insisted on having that silly e at the end of Concorde. They tend to do an awful lot of that sort of thing, the French.

We Brits are a tolerant bunch, Pierre, but you can push us only so far!