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Reasons to get a good dictionary if you want to set the literary world on fire
Welcome to the world of homophone literature. A homophone is a word which sounds the same as another word but which is spelled differently, like 'bear' and 'bare'.
So, homophone literature is what could have happened had some famous authors (or their editors) had spelling problems. We might have had ...
Grate Expectations … in which a young, orphaned boy visits an old lady still dressed in her wedding clothes who makes him clean out her fireplace and, because he doesn’t do it properly, forces him to re-do it many times until he gets it perfect. The novel ends with him hand in hand with a young lady called Estella, although she is hesitant because of his blackened fingernails and grimy palms, forcing a somewhat ambiguous ending.
Around the World in Eighty Daze … in which an octogenarian, confused and reeling from the fact that he has reached such an advanced age, embarks on a world tour, spurred on by a wager from his gentleman’s club. He does complete the journey, but being in such a vacant and puzzled state, notices hardly anything and comes back with his wrinkles tanned but little else of interest.
Mole Flanders … in which a flighty young nocturnal mammal packs into her small life twelve years as a whore, five husbands (one her own brother) and twelve years as a petty thief. She draws attention to herself because of this, not least because she can’t see a thing and has therefore done well. She is eventually sentenced to transportation to Virginia where she picks up an unusual accent for a mole and dies repentant, albeit confused, and with a reputation for sleeping in the daytime.
Scents and Sensibility – in which two young ladies, both wearing dresses hard to sit down in, are shown to be of opposite character, one being obsessed with different smells, and the other being a serious type, although capable of hidden passions. Trouble begins when the aromaholic meets a man of dubious character who promises her a whole perfumery of her own if she runs away with him, even though there is a perfectly decent old codger willing to have her who knows that the perfumery thing is just a way to get her pregnant. The old codger gets her eventually, although he does find the continual sniffing noises unbearable.
The Picture of Dorian: Grey – in which a handsome young Victorian gets his portrait painted – a colourful, vibrant picture of himself which he values highly and puts up on his wall. He decides to hire a painter to decorate the room’s walls in White with a Hint of Gentle Dove so that the painting is shown off to best effect. However, what he doesn’t realise is that the painter currently suffers from a weeping eye condition. Thus, while painting the walls, he doesn’t notice the picture and paints straight over it. Dorian is horrified, when he sees this, but it is all made much worse when he catches sight of himself in a mirror and notes that he now looks like John Major.
It's nearly a month since Christmas and I still have my pile of books and notebooks from friends and family on a chair by the sofa. I can't bring myself to put them all away. There's no reason why I should. No one's dared to move the pile so that they can sit sat on the chair for a while anyway. But these are lovely presents: novels, books of poetry, books about poetry, delicious notebooks .... what's not to like? I haven't always received such pleasing gifts. I was married in April 1982. At the end of that month, I turned 20. Yes, a young bride, and one who wasn't so delighted with her birthday present from her new husband. 'I've bought you an ironing board cover, too,' he said, looking pleased. 'It's the right size. I've checked.' And indeed he had. It was prettier than the plain blue one on this picture: flowery and cheerful. He had tried. Nevertheless, we had words. I was compassionate, don't worry. I was his first
My try-to-get-fitter walk in the fields today was a silent one. I usually listen to the radio through earphones but have lost one of the soft earbuds and nothing spoils a walk more than having hard plastic nudging up against your fragile tympanic membrane. The BBC's 'Woman's Hour' is a brilliant programme but loyalty has limits. It was disconcerting, walking in silence. Listening to radio distracts from the disturbing reality that my legs are propelling me in forward motion because, if I think too hard about this, I frighten myself. Today, while walking, I had to listen to my own thoughts. And now I've listened to my own thoughts, I remember why I like radio better. The inside of my head is like a wastepaper basket. Be grateful that I only offer you a brief excerpt. Oh, look, that bird is - / Where did I put that mark scheme. I'll need it for - / My shoes are getting muddier./ Maybe mash with the fish tonight / really muddy / The trees are definitely more
Ben Cottam (@TheCottam) posted this statement on Twitter today: 'When you're growing up, no one ever tells you how much of your adult life will be spent pushing tumbling Tupperware into cupboards.' I know, right? Why does no one say? And what else does no one tell you about adult life, particularly later adult life? I have made a list. 1. That one day you will say, 'They'll freeze, dressed like that,' and 'Let's go home. It's nearly 10pm,' and think nothing of it. 2. That a summer will come when you will start the days dressed in cardigan and socks and only take them off when it's warm enough to leave the kitchen door open. 3. That police officers, teachers and nurses, rather than getting older, get younger, birthday by birthday, and that one day you will be burgled and then visited by a seven year old with a notebook and a helmet. 4. That the music in pubs and clubs becomes louder, brasher and more sweary, year on year, so that