Saturday, 3 July 2010

Mea Cabbages Culpa

I was quite rightly pulled up for accuracy on Thursday. The bone of contention was this quirky introduction to a speech from Mark Wallace.

· Pythagoras’ Theory – 24 words
· Lords’ Prayer – 66 words
· Archimedes Principle – 67 words
· Ten Commandments - 179 words
· Gettysburg Address – 267 words
· US Declaration of Independence – 1,321 words
· Magna Carta (including signatures) – 3,856 words
· EU regulations on sale and trade of cabbages – 26,253 words
Commenter salegamine pointed out that this was an urban myth debunked by Snopes.

The truth is that there are nowhere near 26,253 words regulating cabbages. In fact, it's a mere 1,990.

Along with 2,950 for cauliflowers and artichokes, 2,675 for asparagus, 1,972 for aubergines, 2,004 for beans, 3,980 for sprouts, celery and spinach, 2,260 for chicory, 1,925 for courgettes, 2,031 for cucumbers, 2,281 for mushrooms, 2,190 for garlic, 1,928 for leeks, 2,138 for lettuces, 2,235 for onions, 1,927 for peas, and 2,298 for sweet peppers ...

... not counting amendments.

Therefore, the illustration of absurdly overweening EU hyper-regulation should have read thus:

· Pythagoras’ Theory – 24 words
· Lords’ Prayer – 66 words
· Archimedes Principle – 67 words
· Ten Commandments - 179 words
· Gettysburg Address – 267 words
· US Declaration of Independence – 1,321 words
· Magna Carta (including signatures) – 3,856 words
· EU regulations on sale and trade of vegetables – more than 36,784 words
Happy to clear that one up.

It might be worth firing that around liberally by e-mail and see what Snopes think of it. Just a thought.

Links courtesy of Gawain


11 comments:

Ashtrayhead said...

I'm getting quite curious as to what can be written about a pea that takes 1,927 words!

Anonymous said...

Gregor Mendel had a lot to say about peas, and about how peas grow, probably even more than 1,927 words actually, but his interest in the size and shape of peas stemmed from an intellectual curiousity and what he discovered about it and recorded has proved quite useful.

Angry Exile said...

You missed out carrots, potatoes and broccoli. Probably another 5-6000 words there, and I suppose there'd be a couple of thousand words each for all the fruits and berries as well. No wonder all the grocers are shutting. They're too busy reading up on the regulations to open up and sell the bloody things.

Captain Haddock said...

I hate to think of the number of pages which must regulate Vegetable soup then ..

Witterings From Witney said...

Does that include GM too, DP?

Also do not believe the figure of 36,784 - it must be more than that on the basis the EU crats are not renowned for putting anything so succinctly!

Michael J. McFadden said...

Actually, you should email that (along with the actual cut 'n paste documentation for ease) to the Snopes folks. They're very busy but I've found them quite approachable when it comes to making their content more accurate.

:)
Michael

john miller said...

An interesting insight into the EU brain. I can see the grouping of cauliflower and artichoke makes a certain sort of sense.

But sprouts, celery and spinach?

All quite intentional I'm sure and a strategy to preserve the monolith that is the veggie bit of the EU.

You can see it now can't you, the chief controllers of the round, long and floppy veg bureaux have a bit of a turf war and lo! in 2011 we have three new bits of legislation.

Ofc, the cauli and srti war is a long term strategy for 2013, I think.

Shug Niggurath said...

hehe, good. Hope the twat who pulled you up went green.

Mrs Rigby said...

"the square on the hypoteneuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the two adjacent sides"
I make that 18 words. :P

Anonymous said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/7865857/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-garden-pea.html

salegamine said...

I love it!

Truth overtakes fiction.
:)