CORRESPONDENCE on the subject of extraordinary phrase books continues with a letter from Rodney Galey of Cambridge, who commends Butler's Spanish Teacher published in 1849. 'It offers us help in every imaginable situation: from 'I read Horace and Virgil because they are the best Latin poets' to 'He has fallen from a tower two hundred feet high'.'

The phrase book also supplies this bizarre exchange:

'There is a man overboard.'

'Lower the boat.'

'A shark has swallowed him.'

'Poor fellow]'

Mr Galey offers in addition an item from the Short Vocabulary issued by the Stationery Office in 1915 for the use of British troops in France: 'Guide me to X. Take care: take the shortest road, and if you lead me wrong you will be shot.'