28 DECEMBER 1945, Page 14

Corn !

The salient headline in a large advertisement by a seed-Merchant is the single word Corn. Underneath are listed various types of barley and oats, but no wheat. Most urban readers would perhaps consider this bad English. Deis not corn equal wheat? The truth is that corn is a generic word, covering most cereals, but is often used also as the specific name for the leading cereal in any particular district: wheat in England, maize or (Indian) corn in the Americas, and sometimes oats in Scotland. To which grain did " Corn in Egypt " refer? Perhaps barley, which some historians hold has the longest pedigree, though according to teetotallers the most disreputable.