‘Allo, allo, allo. What’s going on ‘here then?. Evening all.’

‘Hello occifer, what can I do for you?’.

‘My name is P.C. Correct of the local constabulary and I believe you can help us with our enquiries’.

‘Of course officer’.

‘Did you, or did you not, recently participate in a round of golf at Carnoustie?’

‘I did indeed’.

‘And do you remember, after the game, making the statement, and I quote: “I decided to use my new driver and whacked the ball right down the middle of the fairway”?’.

‘I believe I did, yes. What seems to be the problem?’

‘We have received a number of complaints, particularly from the Association of British Chauffeurs about your cavalier use of the word ‘driver’. They are deeply offended by the implication that their members are solely there for the purpose of being used to hit golf balls down a fairway and are demanding a public apology. In addition, they suggest, to be fair to their members, that in future you refer to the implement as “a long stick with a lump on the end for hitting golf balls a long way”‘.

ITV sports commentator Jim Rosenthal has been forced to apologise to Olympic javelin star Tessa Sanderson after describing her as a ‘spear chucker’ after he was denounced as a ‘racist’ by critics.

People bombarded internet forums with angry messages, claiming that the phrase was insulting to ethnic minorities because of its supposed associations with ‘uncivilised’ tribes. Sanderson’s former rival, Fatima Whitbread, said that the phrase ‘spear chucker’ was common in athletic circles and did not carry any racist connotations, adding: ‘It’s a load of old rubbish. I’m sure Tessa wasn’t offended. We always say we chuck spears – it’s not an unusual form of terminology’.

A javelin is a light spear designed primarily for casting as a ranged weapon. The javelin is almost always thrown by hand. The word javelin comes from Middle English and it derives from Old Frenchjaveline, a diminutive of javelot which meant spear. The word javelot probably originated from the Celtic language.

To throw: To propel through the air. Synonyms: Hurl, cast, toss, pitch, chuck, fling, sling.

The Romans, Greeks, English and just about everybody in the world ‘chucked spears’ at one time or another.

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