The Game’s Afoot

Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA

My sixth diary is called The Games Afoot!.

One or two readers want to know why.

Well, The game’s afoot is one of my favourite English phrases. It was used by Shakespeare (in King Henry IV, Part 1) and it was popularised by Sherlock Holmes.

P.G.Wodehouse once claimed that he met Arthur Conan Doyle in New York when Doyle was hunting some publishing pirates who had stolen his copyright and printed copies of his work in the US. According to Wodehouse, Doyle actually used the words `The game’s afoot’ to describe his pursuit of the dastardly rogues who had stolen his copyright.

And now, as readers will find from this year’s journal, the phrase will soon be widely used by the many pseudo-sophisticated and oh-so-superior Frenchmen and Frenchwomen who pride themselves on their ability to speak idiomatic, colloquial English.

That is my gift to the world.

Incidentally, alternative titles for this book included: Just an Old Bloke in a Hat, A Plague of Frogs and Fuck the French. Readers who persevere to the end will see why.

Maybe I should have simply called it The Scream.

In a way that would have been ‘Munch’ more appropriate.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2018