October 5, 2009

Parerga and Paralipomena

In today's Daily Californian, page 1, we learn that

"Dr. Jane Goodall, despite having worked with chimpanzees in Tanzania for much of her life, still speaks with a soft British accent."

This is local color, very nice, but why "still"? Is a soft British accent matter for surprise in an Englishwoman resident for a long time in a former British colony where the official language is English? I can't fathom what sort of accent the journalist was expecting Dr. Goodall to sport. Can it be that, "having worked with chimpanzees in Tanzania for much of her life," she is expected to speak with -- a soft chimpanzee accent?

On the back page we have, naturally, Cal's big loss to USC this weekend. My interest in sports is limited entirely to a morbid fascination with post-game interviews, and my attention was captured by quarterback Kevin Riley's explanation of what went wrong:

"It's just something you've got to do to win games is put the ball in the end zone, and we're not doing that right now."

Surely this is banal even by the standards of sports chat?