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A Common Misconception

Git and prat are not the same thing. They’re spelt differently for a start. They do not, as many assume, mean idiot. Git refers to the joint on a type of sixteenth century ploughing harness which is prone to breaking once the leather wears, whereas prat has its origins in a mindless squabble of words that has each involved none the wiser. Although these definitions may come as some surprise to many, they didn’t to Thomas, who’s been called git and prat so often over the course of his life that at one stage he wondered they were, in fact, his name—especially since his mother referred to him as both up until Social Services stepped in and forced her to give him a proper one. Further clues that neither of these words were his name was apparent in the large quantities of phlegm people doused him in after calling him either. Initially, Thomas thought this might be something to do with their accent in the same way that ordering certain alcoholic beverages in southern Mediterranean countries requires borderline hoiking. It became evident this wasn’t the case, however, when he was doused in phlegm after asking. He even wondered whether the words were compliments of sorts, with the phlegm being, perhaps, a badly blown kiss. This wasn’t the case either, he discovered, when an attempt to repay the compliment resulted in him being admitted to hospital with a nasty case of rapid door insertion.

Armed with this mass of confusion, an umbrella and an assortment of flannels, Thomas was determined to get to the bottom of the words’ definitions. After learning Latin he became a Professor of Languages at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge, where he delved into the sort of books that hadn’t been opened until shortly after their initial print run at the turn of the previous millennia. Within them he discovered the aforementioned definitions of git and prat, which was a bitter-sweet triumph in that they weren’t compliments after all. Furthermore, because their true definitions had been lost in antiquity, those accusing him of being both inadvertently proved themselves as idiots themselves, the irony of which left him comfortable to leave it at that.

“I don’t mind being called a git,” Thomas said, after we found him flailing about in a gutter. “Nor do I mind being called a prat, for that matter. Frankly, I’m grateful anyone can be bothered considering me long enough to form an opinion on the matter. I do, however, think it unfair to accuse me of being an idiot, as most people who hoik phlegm at me don’t know anything about the real Thomas Corfield at all: whether I enjoy being doused in phlegm, for example.”

"I enjoy being doused in phlegm."

We highlighted the ample evidence of him being an idiot in both his dreadful books and because he was lying a gutter.

The denial that followed bordered on commendable.

“Yes, but that’s only to make it easier to drain their phlegm,” Thomas said, while trying to wipe some off. “Being called a git or a prat is one thing, but to be doused in phlegm is quite another. Some days I’m so phlegmy that when I try to sit down I slip off and slide miles away from where I’d attempted to place my bottom.” He tried pointing at a nearby café, but slipped. “I was in there last week, trying to explain to its customers and staff the difference between git and prat. But after yelling at me, they doused me in masses of phlegm, which had me stagger backwards, slip on large quantities of it and end up in this gutter where I’ve been flailing ever since. I’ve asked several people to help me up, obviously, but most either contribute to my phlegminness or urinate on me. Someone wanted to kick me in the head yesterday, though refrained because of concerns for their shoes.”

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