After the smalltalk about our British weather has been done, it’s often asked, “So, what do you know?”

How the question is answered depends on the person being asked.

Some folk will gladly spew out every intimate detail of their life, while others might bitch about the current state of the nation.

The cannier person might opt for, “Not a lot, what about you?”

And that’s when you find out what kind of person you’re chatting with.

When people continually whinge about something, it’s often said that they’re “harping on.”

Is not the harp a beautiful instrument that makes calming noises?

Still, if it was good enough for Shakespeare…

The Word of a Drink

“I’ve missed not seeing you.”

I’m fairly sure the guy meant “I’ve missed seeing you.”

But if he didn’t, I’m going to add that riposte to my armoury.

The Shape of Food

“We should all eat three square meals a day.”

But how can we when plates and dishes are mostly round?

A Milk Shortage

After making a cup of tea for somebody, they asked me if the cow had died.

Apparently I hadn’t put enough milk in to suit their tastes.



I heard somebody say “twattoo” recently.

I’d never heard the word before but knew what it meant instantly.

I won’t Sky+ it

A long time ago in a galaxy not far, far away – okay, it was this one – Star Wars was on TV and somebody wanted to watch it but was going out. So they “taped it.”

To this day, I’m still “taping” things off of the TV myself, even though the recording medium of magnetic tape died shortly after the dinosaurs did.

Even when I got a DVD recorder, I couldn’t bring myself to “record” stuff from the TV. I still “taped” everything. But I did it on TV.

And now we are in the age of digital and satellite TV. We can still record things. We just don’t do it to tape or disc. We record to another medium I’m not clever enough to understand or to explain. But I’m still “taping.”

Whatever new recording mediums come to us, I’ll never record anything.

But I might just “tape” something.

What is old?

How much time must elapse before something becomes old?

Is it all relative to how long we’ve been on this Earth?

“Here’s an old photo of me,” said a kid of 14. The photo was about 18 months old.

Should he have said, “Here’s a recent photo of me?”

Give it a what?

“I wonder if the new menu’s better than the last one?” my friend said.

“You’ve got to give it a whirl, at least,” I said

And that’s when it struck me. We say it so often when talking about trying new things, but what does it really mean?

I can only think that the expression might come from either dancing or fairground rides.

What’re your thoughts?

I was at work trying to describe to a fellow writer that someone was well-off.

They were, as I said, “Uh-FLU-uhnt.”

She laughed at me.

Once she composed herself, she said, “I’m sorry, don’t you mean “AFF-loo-uhnt?”

She told me that I was referring to “effluent,” as in sewage.

By my ear, that’s “EF-loo-uhnt.”

I can appreciate the miniscule difference – but even in that narrow gap, it sounds clear enough to me.