Pass Notes - usually published four times a week on page 3 of The Guardian - was originally billed as 'A daily briefing on contemporary people and events which may be of use to those whose commitments do not permit them to immerse themselves in current affairs as fully as they might wish'.
The format is a question-and-answer dialogue between two unidentified persons, one of whom apparently asks (or answers) rather dumb questions about the subject, which can be anything from real people (living or dead) to buildings, countries, food or more abstract entities.
Most Pass Notes begins with "Age" and "Appearance", followed by several questions and answers. It usually ends with "Do say" and "Don't say", followed by witty remarks one should (or in the latter case, should not) say to or about that day's subject. The Guardian does not say who writes these entries, but it is believed to be the work of a small team at the newspaper.
It has been around since 1992, almost continuously, and there have been over 3600 Pass Notes published in this time.
This collection focuses mainly on modern times but also delves into the archives for some classic entries. It will make a perfect Christmas gift!
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