Wednesday, 2 January 2008
A Paradox, a Paradox, a Most Ingenious Paradox...
Have you heard the paradox of the barber? It goes like this: There is a village in which the barber shaves all those men who do not shave themselves. This sounds reasonable until you ask "Who shaves the barber?". If the barber does not shave himself then the statement says that he does, which is logically contradictory. If he does shave himself then he doesn't. Sort of. He can't have a beard, because then he doesn't shave himself. The barber can be a woman, but that's cheating.
Have I lost you yet?
In the first of a series of 365 posts, Bee talked about her "lack of lack". It wasn't until I'd sufficiently woken up my brain with copious quantities of alcohol (well it was New Year's Day) that I realised that there was, to quote Private Eye, "Shome mishtake shurely". If you lack lack then you lack nothing, but you still lack something, i.e. lack. Maybe it was a typo. Maybe she meant "Lack of luck". Or "Lack of lock", though I don't think that Practical Husband Andy would let their house lack a lock, but she could be bald. However, none of these look like typos, since "u" and "o" are a long way from "a" on the keyboard. "Lack of lqck" doesn't have the same ring to it.
Maybe a letter didn't come out and she meant "Lack of black" (lipstick?). Which reminded me of Graham Rawle's "Lost Consonants". I couldn't see my favourite, which was "Napolean defeated in his trousers". Accompanied of course by a picture of Napolean looking very uncomfortable.
I'm sure, though, that Bee really meant "lack of slacks" (maybe her "s" key isn't working properly). Which describes Napolean after he hit himself...
Totally Unrelated Footnote: According to some sources, Napolean was 5'2" tall.