By Bill Heaney
Hamish Mackay, in his unmissable column today in The Scottish Review, refers us old hacks to “an amusing contribution on Facebook from Gareth Westwood.
Westwood writes: “‘A truck loaded with thousands of copies of Roget’s Thesaurus crashed yesterday losing its entire load. Witnesses were stunned, startled, aghast, taken aback, stupefied, confused, shocked, rattled, paralysed, dazed, bewildered, mixed up, surprised, awed, dumbfounded, nonplussed, flabbergasted, astounded, amazed, confounded, astonished, overwhelmed, horrified, numbed, speechless, perplexed, fazed, disconcerted, perturbed, disturbed and breathtaken.”
Alan McDermid – ‘give us an alternative word for drunk’ – with his wife Janet, of The Sunday Post fame, and author Anna Smith, formerly chief reporter at The Daily Record. Picture by Bill Heaney Above: Columnist Hamish Mackay of the Scottish Review.
FB reader Alan MacDermid, formerly of The Lennox Herald and then The Glasgow Herald, asks: ‘Is this the word with the most alternatives listed in Roget? If not, what? How about “drunk”?’
Still on words, the Collins Dictionary has shown restraint in naming its Word of the Year 2020, choosing ‘lockdown’.
It defines it as ‘the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces’. Helen Newstead, of Collins, explains: “Lockdown is not a word of the year to celebrate but it is, perhaps, one that sums up the year for most of the world.”
Other words on the 10-strong list include furlough, key worker, self-isolate, social distancing, coronavirus, BLM and Megxit.