Confused? Just don’t get the dress code wrong

IT can be a real puzzler, this world of ours. Just how confusing is highlighted in new research just revealed.

Of 2,000 adults asked, a quarter of them admitted to being baffled every day with nearly one in three saying it takes them five minutes to figure out what they are confused about.

The top conundrum was algebra – a bane of most school children which seems to stay with them as they go through life – followed by foreign call centres.

In third spot was the question, “Why do people get arrested when defending their property?” Then came why is Britain in so much debt, what women see in Russell Brand, and credit car interest rates.

Cherry picking through the list of 50 subjects we find alcohol units, the laws of cricket, Stephen Hawking’s theories (how many people have actually looked at them?), foreign languages, calories, predictive text, poker, men, clocks going back/forward, Twitter and, in the final spot, women.


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Some things not in the list but which I find increasingly confusing are acronyms. They have always been with us but more and more are emerging from the woodwork these days, and some apparently with no explanation as to their meaning.

One I noticed the other day was in a press release announcing a seminar. This was headlined: “How can we most effectively deliver government’s housing strategy? Meeting major challenges of the age.”

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Included was a line which began: “This seminar with DCLG at CPPS’s London base….”

Now, hold on a minute. What does DCLG stand for? I guess D means Department and LG is Local Government but what about C? A quick look on the internet reveals that it represents Communities. That wasn’t too hard to work out.

But now we have CPPS. What on earth does that mean? Back to the internet search engine and the first result up is Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. I don’t think that is right in this housing strategy context.

The next CPPS is Chinese Property Professionals Society, so that’s out. Then there is College Place Public Schools (in the USA). Next comes Centre for Public Policy Studies which sounds promising but then I find it is based in Malaysia.

After discovering that CPPS also represents the UK’s premier paintball series, I give up the search. Perhaps the real CPPS will someday send something which explains what the initials represent.

Stop press – just got another announcement from CPPS which includes the acronym BIS without explanation. It could be the Bank for International Settlements but I reckon it is more likely to be the UK department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

It can be fascinating stuff. And that prompts me to pass on the information to those ladies intending to visit the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot in the summer to wear a hat, not a fascinator. They have been banned as part of a tightening up of the dress code.

A waistcoat and tie must be worn by men in the hallowed enclosure. A cravat will not do. “It isn’t a question of elitism,” said Ascot’s chief executive.

Perhaps I will see you there.

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