It's a well-known fact that an overwhelming proportion - perhaps as much as 95% - of the modern-day Englsh language has its roots in French, but one man recalled, today, how his school chums laughed themselves silly at the mere mention of the French adjective, fatigué.
Moys Kenwood, 57, was lounging outside his house reading, when his mind was sucked through a spiral time warp, emerging in 1977, where he was now sitting at his desk at school, during Mr. Brettell's French lesson.
Mr. Brettell, a tall, dark-haired man with fashionable steel-rimmed spectacles, dressed in a royal blue blazer and grey slacks, and who, despite being married to Mrs. Brettell, the Maths teacher, was regarded by many of the school's pupils as 'a bit of a sailor', said:
"Comment ça va?"
This meant, and still means:
"How are you?"
Whilst doing this, he pointed to a picture on the board of a man who was yawning. In this way, Mr. Brettell was trying to elicit the French equivalent of:
"I am tired."
Kenwood, ever enthusiastic, raised his hand. Mr. Brettell said:
In a Paris accent, Kenwood intoned:
"Je suis fatigué."
There was exploding laughter.
One of Kenwood's classmates said:
"That sounds like 'fatty gay', doesn't it?"
Someone else said:
"That sounded like 'fatty gay dozen tit', didn't it?"
A new speaker said:
"That sounded like 'fatty gay dozen tit didden tit'."
And the whole class shook with laughter.
Mr. Brettell stared. He was biding his time.