Jonah, re your “puke-ray” story, I love the expression “chunder-beam” and, even better, “chunder-gat,” which I take it are the Brit reporter’s shorthand and not the weaponry’s official names. “Chunder” is one of the great Australian contributions to the language, as in:
I come from a land Down Under
Where beer does flow and men chunder . . .
I believe it’s from the Great War — rhyming slang from a boot-polish promotional character called Chunder Loo of Akim Foo (ie, “Chunder Loo” = “spew”). But Barry Humphries maintains it’s what queasy emigrants to Oz on rough seas used to shout to the chaps on the deck below before they let fly: “Watch under.”
But a “chunder-gat” is a wonderful expression. If U.S. newspapers wrote like that, they’d still be in business.
Now back to our regularly scheduled chunder-inducing administration updates . . .