Thursday 28 June 2012


The other day I needed a word; my pen hesitated over the page and for a moment nothing happened.

Then something popped onto the page .


It looked good so I conjugated it into a past form.

I folded up the page and posted it off.

Then I wondered.

Was it a real word?

It sounded good, it looked good and it had potential.

But I wasn’t sure, so I checked.

I went looking for a dictionary; I have two.

One is the blue one - with the torn cover repaired inadequately with sticky tape  - which sits on top of the bookshelf with no books in the corner of this room.

The second belonged to my mum; the spine is damaged, absent in fact but it has her name on the inside of the cover, which is brown or red depending on whether you look at it in sunshine or shade. Each letter of the alphabet has a page devoted to it with a satisfying indentation where your finger can slip when you need a word.

As now I did.


It was there.

There was even a noun.


A gusher – someone who gushes.

The dictionary dates from 1934 – it’s the third edition of a supplement to the Oxford Dictionary of Current English so my use of Gush is clearly contemporary.

To gush – “sudden or copious stream (of speech, tenderness etc); emit (water) copiously; (speak, behave with) effusiveness, sentimental affection.”

I have never thought of myself as copious.

I should probably rein/rain it in.

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