‘The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.’ Actually, as a matter of geographical fact, it doesn’t, but never mind: this rather dreary sentence is used not to convey a message as uninteresting as it is inaccurate, but instead to get us to work on our elocution.
‘How now, brown cow’ is another. Oh, come on! Can’t we find some slightly more meaningful
sentence to practise our elocution? I mean, really! When did you last talk to a
brown cow, and
when did you last ask anyone, bovine or human, the question, ‘How now’? – if indeed this is a
question. How what? How’s it going, cow? How did you become brown, cow? I can only suggest
that you try using these words the next time you address a brown cow, and see what sort of
response you get.
Of course there’s always, ‘She sells sea shells on the sea shore, and the sea shells she sells are sea shells, I’m sure.’ Yeah, right. Glad I