14 March 2009


Letter in Athens News, 13 March, from one Peter Griffiths of Rhodes about the daring escape from Korydallos High Security Prison and commenting that,

"I'm British and couldn't believe an escape from our top security jail - three prisoners let themselves out with keys they had made under the noses of prison staff.

When recaptured, another level of idiocy kicked in: these escapees [sic] were permitted an expensive court trial at which they pleaded "not guilty".

It's the misuse of the suffix -ee with which I quibble.

I know it's long been misused in the colonies, along with 'disinterested' and 'momentarily', but surely a fellow Anglais can keep the flag flying over such basic corresponding agent-nouns? Hello? (An expression I can't stand, by the by)

  • Lessor/lessee?
  • Patentee?
  • Debauchee
  • employer/employee
  • evacuee
  • payee?

    In re  'escapee', surely the hoods that bust out were the escapERS and the hoosegow itself the 'escapee' from where the escaping got done, yeh?

    Or the chief screw from whose charge the cons did make their getaway?

    Not that he's got anything to worry about: even if he gets the boot, he'll find a job no problem running security for Barclays bank. Right in his element, he'll feel.

    File under Pedantree.

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