Of Drunken Members of Parliament and Modifying Phrases


In 2014, to promote a new exhibit on Vikings, the British Museum set sail with a clever public relations spectacle: an authentic-looking vessel manned by a motley crew that sailed down the Thames and past government buildings where members of Parliament had a front-row seat for the show.

As one insightful observer reported: "A longboat full of Vikings, promoting the new British Museum exhibition, was seen sailing past the Palace of Westminster yesterday. Famously uncivilized, destructive and rapacious, with an almost insatiable appetite for rough sex and heavy drinking, the MPs nonetheless looked up for a bit to admire the vessel."

This joke was brought to you by a grammar concept called modifying phrases. If you want to know more, here's a recent column.


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