I’d like to introduce you to a fine, upstanding pair of brother-words. They don’t get out much anymore. They’ve gone into semi-retirement because of the constant suffusion into everyday English usage, of valley-girl-speak, obvs.
Our protective pair for this week are
Catchpole: (formerly) a petty officer of justice, especially one arresting persons for debt.
Tipstaff: a staff tipped with metal, formerly carried as a badge of office, as by a constable.
any official who carried such a staff.
Gone are the days when these boys, and their Italian cousin, Fasces, could implement some social wellbeing by applying a few stripes across a few backs and butts, and some knots on some heads. (Therefore, knotheads.)
I was gratified by the recent decisions to use riot-geared police, complete with two-foot truncheons, to finally bring an end to both the Ottawa Freedom Convoy, and the Windsor/Detroit bridge blockade. Police showed remarkable restraint. They barely had to use their billy-clubs. I thought that a few more heads could have been cracked, to engender some good manners and social responsibility.
Society is a constant pendulum – from too restrictive, to too lenient. This current Woke/cancel culture/snowflake – nobody even gets their feelings hurt, much less their ass, or their head – has swung too far into permissive. I don’t want police beatings in the street, any more than I don’t want guys being shot for driving while black. But there’s gotta be some workable middle ground.
If I set up a Patreon account, Tipstaff is what you could do. Until then, I’ll just be happy if you have Uber-Eats deliver another helping of my rants in a couple of days. 😀