A suggestion that ‘Tic-Tac’, the ancient sign language of on-course bookmakers, will die out soon has caused consternation amongst the anthropology community, especially those who enjoy a flutter.
‘This confirms our worst fears,’ said one leading dialect conservationist yesterday. ‘Instead of communicating the latest odds by this uniquely special sign language, bookies simply use their smartphones. I just cannot understand why modern technology is allowed to wipe out years of cultural development. It’s criminal.’
Experts fear that the language may disappear altogether with its last great exponent, pundit John McCririck, who at 71 has reached an age that most racing commentators can expect to be put out to pasture. However McCririck dismissed reports of his imminent retirement. ‘Crazy nonsense,’ he said, pointing to his temple using tic-tac signing as he spoke. ‘I’m not going to retire. I intend to be put out to stud,’ he leered, clutching his groin.