It is reported that Turkish President Erdogan has decreed that sporting venues should be called ‘stadiums’ and not ‘arenas’ because the latter is ‘un-Turkish’.

“Good evening and here is the news,
Complete with presidential views,
And so we now have things to say,
Which will affect you from today.

Your president is on the ball,
He doesn’t plan to build a wall,
But he’ll decree the words you say,
When watching games home or away.

The word ‘arena’ is now banned,
The length and breadth of our fair land,
So when you watch please park your bums,
Instead in our great stadiums.

The reason is in Roman times,
Arenas were the scenes of crimes,
As gladiators had to fight,
On Saturday and Sunday night.

Now things like that have gone away,
’Cos we’re more civilised today,
And though the past we can’t excuse,
We can select the words we use.”

But maybe someone with some clout,
To Erdogan might just point out,
The plural’s unfamiliar:
Not ‘stadiums’ but ‘stadia’!

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