Am I Making A Silly Point?

village-cricket1The very English game of Cricket has had a profound influence on global events, particularly in the last couple of hundred years. Actually, coming from the county of Kent in the south east of England, I need to change that to ‘the very Kentish game’ because its origins go back to the Weald of Kent in Saxon times. That said, how has this Kentish creation influenced world events . . ?

(salvaged from Archers of Okçular and first posted August 2013)

Britannia Rules OK!

Well, to start with, there is the British Empire which was the largest the world has ever known – as long as you don’t count the present US Empire (which they deny exists) that is! As Britain built and expanded its empire we introduced cricket to the defeated and crestfallen natives. We taught them the rules of the game, both written and unwritten. We taught them about fair-play, being a team player, honesty and accepting the umpire’s decision even when you knew it was wrong! We played by the ‘same rules’ on a ‘level playing field’ where everyone was equal. We dressed them in white, the colour of integrity and the ruling elite. Above all, we treated them as equals on the playing field and applauded them when they played well. We even accepted defeat by them with grace and gave them trophies. We drank tea with them and shared our cucumber sandwiches!

All India Cricket Team 1932

With all this equality on the playing field the natives forgot that their country was being raped and plundered and they were being subjected to humiliation at every turn. Instead of fighting the British to a stand-still, ‘Johnny Foreigner’ accepted the empire/umpire’s bad decision, acknowledged the applause of players and spectators alike, tucked his bat under his arm and walked docilely back to the pavilion for the duration.

Countries like India became masters of the game of cricket, meanwhile they allowed the British to rule their country for a couple of hundred years with a relatively tiny administration whilst it was being robbed of anything that wasn’t nailed down and some that was! Cricket was the weapon of empire – a ‘weapon of mass deception’.

Moving on, there are Crickets, as in Bush Crickets! I would argue that crickets are named after cricket. I’m not suggesting that cricket is older than crickets which, after all and as fossil records prove, go back more than 350 million years to the Carboniferous Period. But crickets were definitely named after cricket and the evidence is in the records, so to speak.


Crickets were first described, recorded and named as such by Linnaeus in 1748. Cricket, on the other hand, has its first recorded reference in a court legal document of 1598. Proof that crickets were named after cricket – although, as I said, I’m not suggesting that cricket was around before crickets. Crickets pre-date human-kind by quite a few million years and the way things are going they’ll probably be around for a few million after we kill ourselves off!

a beautiful picture of a Green Bush Cricket shedding its old suit of clothes

Homo idioticus has been treating Mother Earth in much the same way that Britain treated its empire. Talking the eco-talk behind a smoke-screen of initiatives about ‘responsibility’ and ‘sustainability’ whilst actually accelerating the primitive plundering of resources. The latest batch of climate change models say it all – we are past the ‘tipping-point’, and change is compounding at an unprecedented rate.



Vast volumes of methane, a far more dangerous greenhouse gas, are erupting from the defrosting tundra and ‘boiling’ from the floor of the Arctic Ocean. By 2040 vast areas of the planet will be unviable for humans due to extremes of drought, flooding, sea level rise. Such is the speed of change that many species, particularly mammals, will fail to adapt – others, mostly insects and micro-organisms will do so to some extent and some will flourish.

cricket on the treacherous Goodwin Sands mid-English Channel (something I once did) a curious English pastime doomed to extinction along with the species

Mother Earth is not dying as some claim. Mother Earth is changing – evolving and adapting to the unnatural pressures of one ‘unnatural’ species. The umpire’s finger is raised and there will be no place for those who were stupid enough to believe that some ‘God’ gave them dominion over her.

Our innings is over – the Age of Man is passing!

Alan in Okçular (I also recognise that I need to get out more)

ps ‘Silly Point’ is a fielding position on the cricket field so called because it is just about the silliest place to be relative to a cricket ball coming off a bat at well over 100 mph! You need quick reactions – see below.

pps for those who don’t ‘get’ cricket here is a brief but famous explanation. After reading it you will understand why the British Empire failed to last a thousand years as had originally been predicted:

Cricket: As explained to a foreigner…
You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man who’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

An Opinion On Yorkshire Men (and Women) And The Origins Of Pedantry

Some of the best or most interesting posts from Archers of Okçular over the years

first posted: 7.8.2011

There is a saying outside of Yorkshire along the lines of; ‘Tha can aluz tell a Yorkshire man (or woman) – but tha cannot tell ‘im (or ‘er) much!’ Folk from the rest of the UK mostly take a dim view of Yorkshireites – they are perceived as loud, assertive, overly friendly, obsessive about the superiority of Yorkshire cricket, and pedantic to the point of insanity!

Geoffrey Boycott – a rare example of a non-pedantic Yorkshire man
Dickie Bird – another rare example of a Yorkshire man without a single pedantic bone in his body

They also speak a totally alien language from the rest of the UK – apart from those from Newcastle where, not only is the language alien, it couldn’t be deciphered even if you had the Rosetta Stone!

Coming, as I did, from the South, all Yorkshireites consider my accent ‘plummy’ and I am therefore labelled a SNOB in big letters! Yorkshire people have an opinion about everything because they know everything there is to know and they don’t mind letting everyone within earshot know that they know. Pendantry was conceived and birthed in Yorkshire.

J is a Yorkshireman (or woman)!

It therefore follows that she can be somewhat pedantic ( I know – I’m soft-peddling, but J will read this at some stage and Yorkies are feared and fearless terriers), although having been around me for many a year, she has mellowed a tadge.

As evidence of Yorkshire pedantry, I offer the following from the letters pages of the renowned UK publication ‘Private Eye’.



Eye 1289 Pseudo Names:

. . . I’ve just come back from ‘t field and a dog’s been at the sheep – it’s a blood bath.

Farmer Geddon (geddit?)


Eye 1290 Pedantry Corner:

. . . Farmer Geddon should at least try to follow the basic rules of grammar when he next attempts to take the piss out of North Country patois. He should understand that the purpose of an apostrophe is to fill the place of missing letters, so his phrase: “I’ve just got back from ‘t field” is nonsense. It should, of course, read: “I’ve just got back from t’ field”.

Peter Sharples


Eye 1291 Pedantry Corner:

Farmer Geddon is arguably more correct than Peter Sharples in placing the apostrophe before the “t” in north country dialect “t” for “the”, this being derived from the neuter form of “the” in Anglo-Saxon (theet). Compare Dutch “het” (masculine “de”).

(The form ‘t is Yorkshire dialect, whereas Lancashire is generally th’).

Charles Warwick


Eye 1293 Pedantry Corner:

To Farmer Geddon, Peter Sharples and Charles Warwick I am obliged to say “Nay lad!”.

Being South Yorkshire born and bred, (although now away many decades), in our area the ‘the’ was never a ‘t’ at all. The ‘the’ was and is an almost imperceptible hiatus between  two words. The nearest I can come to writing it is “trouble at ‘ mill” – the ‘ in place of the three missing letters of ‘the’. Or, a longer example, “Down ‘ Wicker weer ‘ watter runs ovver ‘ weir” (three missing thes).
The important thing to remember is that to really represent the accent accurately you must definitely sound these examples out loud wherever you are.
I especially fondly recall ” ‘t i’n’t in ‘ tin” (only one the here).
Yours for ‘ Society o’ ‘ Preservation o’ Regional Accents,

Janet Surman.  (for it is, indeed, she)

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

ps I wish to emphasize that the above are not typos – they actually speak like that up there!