Never too old or young to learn
Posted: 22 February 2017 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  1448
Joined  2007-04-28

A history of Ladybird books, including the recent spoofs and serious new ones about quantum mechanics and climate change.

In 1971, a book about the computer was published under the children’s imprint Ladybird as part of a series designed to show schoolchildren “How it Works”. In common with 645 other titles published between 1940 and 1980, it was a small hardback with 56 pages. It was one of the first Ladybirds to be sold in decimal currency, costing 24p, after decades of the books being pegged at 2/6.

“If you are interested in computers, their function and operation, but are discouraged by their complexity, you should read this book,” said the introduction. “It deals as simply as possible with the principles and does not delve too deeply into electronics.” Though it was intended for “older students,” which means ages 7+ in Ladybird parlance, legend has it that it was so well regarded that 100 copies were ordered by the Ministry of Defence to be circulated among its staff in plain wrapping so they wouldn’t know they were reading a book intended for kids.

24p was 5 shillings, almost double. Everyone used the new decimal currency to rip the public off.

Americans say ladybugs. Everyone in Britain now understands bug but I can only remember using insect growing up and beyond and I never use it, not that I have any objections. I don’t know about other Britons.

Posted: 22 February 2017 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  74
Joined  2015-05-27

We like to keep our first ladies and our insects sorted.

Posted: 23 February 2017 11:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  3130
Joined  2007-01-30

I well remember the switch to decimal currency and the promptness of retailers in taking the welcome opportunity of gouging the public out of more money in the general confusion of the changeover. I also remember lamenting the sudden death of familiar words which had been part of the language for centuries. Bob, shilling,tanner, florin, guinea (although that had gone a while before as had farthing), along with pronunciations such as tuppeny, tuppuhnce, thrupenny, thrupuhnce, etc. It felt as if we’d lost something precious and I think we did. BTW I recall praying to all the gods that the hideous pee would scuttle back under whatever rock it came from once the change had established itself. No such luck. The damn thing is still here and still annoys me as much as ever.