Good English

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Sir,
For some years now I have derived much pleasure from the “Six five in third around Beckets, Nigel” brigade at the end of the bar, and their quasi technical jargon. Unfortunately the last word they had to play with was “Desmodromic”—a long one, but they seemed to get their tongues around that all right. Might I ask through the medium oOf your Letters Column to provide them with a new “in” word for 1971, whilst at the same time tidying up this sloppy “bowl-in-piston” thing by calling it by its proper name… TORROIDAL.

Mike Baker.
Rothley.
[I do not know about Technical English but I do tend to blink at the with-it reporting we get today, such as: “Denny campaigned a M16, but soon. pitted after holding first spot at Indy, where he had hoped to be Champ. He had started from pole position, so the Clubbies shouldn’t have troubled him but the car seemed a handful, as Denny was opposite-locking on the turns. Much later a new engine was fitted, to no avail”. This means, I think:- Hulme drove a McLaren M16 but soon came into the pits, after having been in first place at Indianapolis, where he had hoped to be Champion. He had started No. 1 from the starting grid, so the Club drivers should not have impeded him but the car seemed a handful, as Hulme was correcting slides on the turns. Much later a new engine was installed, to no avail—a fictitious report, of course. Perhaps someone will compile a directory of modern motor racing slang to assist old squares who read young reporters’ race stories to comprehend them?—Ed.