Mark Forsyth’s excellent blog is required reading for anyone who loves words. Today’s post has his usual wit and lightness of touch.
Today I have been paying the farmer. Because, of course, farmers aren’t farmers.
Some people have trade surnames: Mr Baker, Mr Butcher, Mr Farmer etc. And these people happily imagine that in some way off medieval time they had an ancestor who was a baker or a butcher or a farmer. The first two are right, but the Farmers are wrong. Because a farmer is a taxman. Or was.