Professor Finn L. Straw is threatening to blow up one of the BBC's broadcasting masts if his demands are not met. The drama began last night as this publication went to press. His protest concerns the use of the word "them" instead of "those" and the pronunciation of the letter "Aitch" as "Haitch."
He states that the BBC has failed in its duty as guardian of the English language. He says in his letter, "It makes me cringe now when I hear news broadcasters actually saying "Haitch". Some of them sound even more ridiculous when they know it is wrong but try to pronounce a half-hearted version of "Haitch". A line must be drawn in the sand, this far and no further."
"In addition," he adds, "Now almost everybody says "them" instead of "those". Is it any wonder when football commentators report things like: Them Germans are playing out of their skins,"?
The professor claims to have strapped high explosives to a mast, but its whereabouts are being kept secret by the police. He has a remote detonating device, and his location is unknown.
Police Deputy Inspector, Kerr Boom, told me, "We had a similar case with a professor last year. He chained himself to a large piece of luggage at Heathrow Airport. Unfortunately he was mistakenly loaded onto a flight to Thailand."
Professor Straw's demands include English examinations for ex-footballers before they are allowed near a microphone, and the use of electric cattle prods on anyone saying "Haitch".
Inspector Boom concluded by saying, "Don't worry, I have had extensive experience as a criminal negotiator, and am in contact with the professor by phone. My only concern is for them residents in the area."