A Busy Week

Some weeks are a little chaotic, aren’t they? Last week, several of my deadlines fell due at the same time so that  I felt as if I was juggling plates!

My regular blog post, for Authors Electric, comes round once a month on the 21st., so that was one of my deadlines. If you don’t know AE, here ‘s the link: http://authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk/.

We’re an eclectic mix of writers, with all sorts of books out for both adults and children. Today, you can read Lev Butt’s post on his Top Ten Books. No. 1 is Joseph Heller’s ‘Catch 22’.

What’s your no.1 book?  I have so many favourites, but I think I’d go for ‘Middlemarch’ by George Eliot, which confirmed what I’d always suspected, that human beings are bound to each other, by a common thread. Love that idea.

Yesterday, was Ali Bacon’s take on the Hilary Mantel books, especially Wolf Hall and the current TV adaptation, starring amazing actor, Mark Rylance, as Thomas Cromwell. Love all three, the books, the drama and the Mark R’s performance. Tremendous.

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Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell in the TV adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s ‘Wolf Hall.’

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My own blog on the 21st, was on our lovely silly words. Here it is!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Our lovely silly words..Pauline Chandler

(1-A. 2-A. 3-B. 4-B. 5-B. 6-A. 7-A. 8-A. 9-A. 10- A. I’ll explain later).

Did you catch Stephen Fry on Radio 2 recently, talking about words?

He’s something of an expert having worked on a series of programmes about plain English. His main point this time was that, unlike more regimented languages, English is constantly evolving, to embrace how people actually use words. I hadn’t really thought about it, that dictionaries record usage rather than dictating the rules. What a great example of honouring creativity! How sensible!

Fry pointed out this aspect of our beautiful language, when he was asked if he really was the creator of the term ‘luvvie’ for an actor sort of person. The OED lists him as the first person to use the word.  Fry quoted another example of his creating a word that has entered common usage, with his friend Hugh Laurie. The word was ‘spoffle’, to described the muffler spongy bit which is placed on the end of a microphone during recording. He was thrilled when, on a separate occasion, he heard a technician ask for one.

‘Spoffle’ and ‘luvvie’; they’re such lovely silly words, aren’t they? When my children were small, I had affectionate nicknames for them, ‘Spodger’, ‘Billy Bodget’ or, sometimes, ‘Fanackerpan’, though, I’m not sure I actually made that one up. When you go into it, there are plenty of lovely silly words in English. We’ve been making them up for centuries. Hooray, I say! Callooh Callay!

Quiz: Here are ten super silly words in English. All you have to do is decide which is the correct meaning.  Answers above!

  1. Mugwump –        A. Politician           B. Mythical bog monster
  1. Taradiddle –        A. Fib.                  B. Feather
  1. Pottle –              A. Small stain.        B.  A container for strawberries
  1. Firkin –               A. Small keg.         B. Large barrel
  1. Skedaddle –       A. Small side saddle for a child. B. To leave, guiltily, in a
    hurry.
  1. Blunderbuss –    A.  Old weapon.       B. Clumsy kiss
  1. Flibbertigibbet – A.  Flighty person.    B. Hastily erected gallows
  1. Whiffler –          A. Attendant who cleared the way for the monarch.
  2. Fictional creature mentioned in ‘The Jabberwocky’.
  1. Wuffler –           A.  Haymaking machine to fluff up the hay. B. Dog’s scarf.10.  Boggler –           A. Mystifying puzzle.  B. Small swamp-dwelling mammal.

Before I leave you for this month, I looked up the OED’s list of new words for 2014.

bae n. used as a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner.

budtender n. a person whose job is to serve customers in a cannabis dispensary or shop.

contactless adj. relating to or involving technologies that allow a smart card, mobile phone, etc. to contact wirelessly to an electronic reader, typically in order to make a payment.

indyref, n. an abbreviation of ‘independence referendum’, in reference to the referendum on Scottish independence, held in Scotland on 18 September 2014, in which voters were asked to answer yes or no to the question ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’

normcore n. a trend in which ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn as a deliberate fashion statement.

slacktivism, n., informal actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, e.g. signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website; a blend of slacker and activism.

The winner was ‘Vape’= ‘to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device’, while both the device and the action can also be known as a vape.

Mmm, I’m not sure ‘vape’ has any staying power. Last year’s was ‘selfie’. That seems to have caught on.

Stephen Fry, word master.

Another date was last Tuesday, with the Open Book Writers’ Group in Chesterfield, who were kind enough to invite me to talk to them about the new edition of  ‘Warrior Girl’, my story about Joan of Arc. I always love meeting other readers and writers, all of us sharing a passion for stories.

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Here I am with some members of the Open Book Writers’ Group, Chesterfield. We had a great time!

Today you can also read a review I’ve posted on another exciting website about books, the Awfully Big Blog Adventure. Livi Michael’s book, ‘Succession’, is set during the tumultuous Wars of the Roses and features  two powerful Tudor women, Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII and Margaret d’Anjou, wife to Henry VI. It’s a challenging read, with a host of characters with similar names and different allegiances, but the characters and their stories are enthralling. I ended up knowing much more about this complex period.

Here’s the link. http://awfullybigreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

And, saving the best for last: my grandson’s 1st birthday party!

Nanny P with Lucas on his first birthday. That’s a Spanish Apple Cake! Yummy!

That was a busy few days – phew! – but I think I managed it all!

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