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Scan Magazine  |  Humour  |  Columns


By Mette Lisby

… who startles when I see a comment pointing out a mistake in someone’s mundane social media post? Somebody posts about a meal they’ve had and someone bothers to point out a misplaced comma or missing apostrophe. Really? Who are these people who have dedicated their life to proofreading the internet? And why don’t they have anything else to do? I get pointing out the common ‘your’ versus ‘you’re’ mistake, because that can alter the meaning of a sentence and is generally confusing. Generally speaking, I am pretty meticulous when it comes to spelling – but it does happen that I misspell something in a social media post, and strangers feel the need to point that out to me. If that bothers you so much that you need to take time out of your day to point that out to me, I’ve got great news! You should most definitely stay with me, because I guarantee you there will be plenty of more mistakes from me. To me, putting commas into a sentence

is like decorating a set table with flowers: I put them randomly where I think they look nice. In my defence, the comma rules have changed time and time again, and at least in Denmark, even the spelling of certain notoriously tricky words has changed, simply to accommodate the fact that no one under the age of 40 knows how to spell them the old-fashioned way. You can weep over old virtues lost, but you can also embrace it and go with the positive angle: maybe it’s not worth bothering about. Choose your battles, you know? If you’re that obsessed with other people’s mistakes and you have taken it upon yourself to be the linesman of the world wide web, it’s not like there’s nothing to go about doing. I mean please, please, please, instead of pointing out innocent, misplaced commas, could you focus your energy and spend your time fact-checking the internet instead? That should keep

Train heat Brits love a good chat about the weather and what is wrong with it. Summer begins with lots of grumbling about how summer has not begun, and then once it does, instant declaration that it’s ‘too hot’. One place that is definitely ‘too hot’ is all forms of public transport and, in particular, trains. If ill-equipped to deal with leaves on the tracks in winter, some trains are clearly even less capable of handling the sun. ‘Bring water’, signs cheerfully advise at stations, not taking into account that the temperature inside these rolling ovens is high enough to melt tungsten. On one of my last such journeys, I asked a staff member whether the windows could be opened and was told: ‘Of course not, open windows on trains are VERY dangerous!’. I questioned what would be worse – an open window, or death by spontaneous combustion – at which he closed the argument with: ‘Sweating is good for you’. A 98  |  Issue 127  |  August 2019

you busy, and it would leave the rest of us – the random comma-throwing savages of the world – a whole lot better off.

Mette Lisby is Denmark’s leading female comedian. She invites you to laugh along with her monthly humour columns. Since her stand-up debut in 1992, Mette has hosted the Danish version of Have I Got News For You and Room 101.

By Maria Smedstad

treme adverse weather conditions – everyone naturally turned very British. Water was shared around, newspapers passed for fanning, lots of stoic smiling. Then came the ultimate British cure for all evils. What’s best for cooling down an overheating commuter? A nice, steaming hot cup of tea, of course. The theory on airflow might be suspect, but this, as everyone knows, is a proven fact.

second guard was more helpful. ‘There’s a system’, he explained. ‘We open a window at one end of the carriage and one at the other to create airflow’. Now, I’m no expert on airflow, but I can attest to the fact that this particular model wasn’t working. The one silver lining was that – faced with ex-

Maria Smedstad moved to the UK from Sweden in 1994. She received a degree in Illustration in 2001, before settling in the capital as a freelance cartoonist, creating the autobiographical cartoon Em. Maria writes a column on the trials and tribulations of life as a Swede in the UK.

Profile for Scan Group

Scan Magazine, Issue 127, August 2019  

The August issue of Scan Magazine is about all the good things in life: lots of beautiful design, the very best of Finnish and other Nordic...

Scan Magazine, Issue 127, August 2019  

The August issue of Scan Magazine is about all the good things in life: lots of beautiful design, the very best of Finnish and other Nordic...