I was fascinated by the media discussion prompted by Canadian MP Michelle Rempel's use of "un-parliamentary" language in a recent debate when she passionately attacked government inaction regarding unemployment in her Alberta constituency. Rather than criticise Michelle's vocabulary I would like to congratulate her. Michelle's use of words may have narrowly averted an international incident and possibly even a lawsuit.
The moment was captured by CBC News and this video clip found its way onto uTube.
Michelle had asked "Why does this government treat Alberta like a 'fart in the room' that nobody wants to talk about or acknowledge?"
MP Elizabeth May quickly interrupted to draw the speaker's attention to Michelle's use of an "un-parliamentary" word which she spelled out - "F A R T". Elizabeth suggested that Michelle would probably want to withdraw it, prompting a McEnroe-like outburst of "Are you serious Mr Speaker?" Michelle did not withdraw her remark.
For those of you unfamiliar with the expression, my copy of The Chambers Dictionary 12th Edition explains the meaning of the word in question and suggests that its origins date back to Old English, perhaps 5th century Anglo-Saxon.
This "old fart" (n a staid or curmudgeonly old person) is going to sign off here to peruse my latest copy of Private Eye, thus avoiding the temptation to make gratuitous links between the two definitions above which I will leave to others.