I don’t know if any of you are thinking of doing some paving in your garden in the near future. I know, it’s a change from my usual content but it is about language. I was translating for a company that makes concrete products for paths, patios and driveways. And searching online for some terminology (contrary to popular opinion, there are actually limits to the number of subjects your average translator has ready knowledge about) I came across the incredibly useful site ‘pavingexpert.com’. And why, you ask, am I plugging it here? Because their site is hilarious! It’s basically Basil Fawlty on paving. None of your usual kowtowing to the client here. This company makes abundantly clear what it thinks of botchers who don’t heed its advice.

Just a couple of examples:

‘[…] a “ring” of mortar being placed around the perimeter of the flagstone with, sometimes, a central dollop which the idiots involved believe improves support.’

‘You don’t need a degree in engineering to see that this type of construction offers buggerall [sic] in the way of support for flagstones’.

‘Don’t expect any sympathy from this website [..] if it turns out wrong.’