The decline in basic standards of literacy and numeracy has been much mourned by employers. This morning I went to my local Tesco to buy the missing ingredient for my Minestrone. “Do you have any hard white cabbage?” I enquired of the young man who was stacking shelves nearby. “No”, he muttered, “but we do have savoury cabbage.” “Savoury cabbage?” I speculated, “I’ll just reduce the seasoning and it ought to do in soup.”
Arriving at the produce, this fine young man triumphantly directed me to the Savoy cabbage. “But there is no R in Savoy”, I almost began to say, then thought better of it. There is no “R” in “Savoy” and there is no “F” in “white cabbage” at Tesco. I went to Sainsburys instead.