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I'm adding a little dark humour and devising some definitions of my own. Since I generally rely on the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (SOED) to inspire my 'real' definitions for the Daily Word Spot, I thought I'd use the acronym SOD for my own odd definitions. Here's the second of what will become an irregular series.
Solicitor: noun - an individual for whom law is a money tree, someone more interested in law than justice, an encourager of conflict, a partner in a firm set up to rob honest folk of their hard-earned cash, any member of a gang devoted to separating law-abiding citizens from their inheritance, a frustrated actor, a person willing to ensure the guilty go free if enough payment is received for the service, a member of the House of Commons who ensures that laws are made and kept as complex as possible so that the man in the street will be forced to employ him or her to interpret them.
Okay, so I might be being a bit hard. I do actually know a couple of people who are or were solicitors and who manage to remain pleasant people. But they are few and far between, I fear. I'd be interested to learn your experiences of the legal profession.
1825 - The first public railroad using steam locomotives was completed in England. The network of public transport first slowly and then rapidly expanded to carry people all over the country at reasonable cost and in growing comfort. Then, in the 1960s Dr Beeching, at the behest of the Conservative government then in power, wrote a report, which resulted in over 6,000 miles of track being taken out of service, along with more than 3,000 stations. The motivation for this was purported to be that most people would own cars and the railways would therefore become more or less obsolete. Of course, this was a self-fulfilling prophesy, as the removal of usable public transport from many locations ensured that people would be forced to buy and use cars instead. I often wonder how much money passed from the motor manufacturers into the hands of the politicians and others responsible for the decline of our railway system, which was, at the time, the envy of the world. Of course, the railways are no longer a public corporation but privately owned companies now struggling to replace the lost custom and upgrade the service to cope with increasing demand. Another wonderful decision made by our government that only ever thinks short-term.
1945 - The World Bank was created with the signing of an agreement by 28 nations. It has since become an institution with the potential to do enormous good. It's a shame it's been so frequently hijacked by the unethical and the exploitative to make some seriously damaging decisions, especially as far as environmental matters are concerned. Yet more politicians buggering things up, eh?