Countdown and its spin off programme, 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, are bracing themselves for a looming crisis as the five vowels of the English alphabet threaten to take industrial action.
A, E, I, O and U, are tired of the exclusion policy, practised by millions, when engaged in the language of text speak. Comprising less than 20 per cent of the alphabet population they have become increasingly alarmed that their jobs are disappearing and intend to go on strike until the Equality Act 2010 recognises their minority status.
Pointing to Toys R Us, as a glaring example of oppressive practice, A and E are scathing about their respective omissions. They add that they are intensely proud to have combined beautifully for decades serving the public as a short hand reference for Accident & Emergency departments.
I, O and U, declaring solidarity with A and E, highlight the fact that together they form an instantly recognisable troika in the world of transactions and deal making. However, I is pissed off when subsumed by the number 1 in text messages, as is O, when replaced, intentionally or mistakenly, by zero.
But this united front was recently shattered when U claimed superiority because he had been retained in the Toys R Us name.
“Besides,” said U, “I can be used to replace a whole word, leaving out O and the consonant Y. Therefore, I am always needed in text speak”.
I interrupted to remind U that he had just used his name twice. And that he, too, represents a word on his own, needing to be used in text speak all the time. A stepped in to make a similar claim but triumphantly announced that, whilst a vowel, he was also actually the first letter in the alphabet.
Unfortunately, an unholy row has now broken out with all five vowels engaged in political in fighting. O fiercely states that he also makes an appearance in Toys R Us, so why should he be worried about A and E. This kind of proves that all letters are equal, but some are more equal than others.
ACAS have been called in. But E, I, O and U object to A having two representatives with no one to fight their corner.