Tag Archives: words

winning the half marathon

1 Jul

halfwayI can’t believe I’m half way !!!

On the first of January I made a rash and somewhat grand statement that I would  share some whimsical thought, reflection or just plain nonsense every day for a year. It seemed easy enough at the time…after all …I love words and they (usually) fall out of my brain easily… but I hadn’t accounted for the challenges that life throws up along the way.

That said, I’ve made it this far having missed only 2 days.

One day that didn’t exist for us as we crossed the International Dateline on our return from New York… and the other was just last Saturday, when (as many of you know) I was busy  preparing, hosting, celebrating and then recovering from our huge ‘fur and flanno’ farewell event.CAM00254


I wont pretend that it’s been scintillating, intellectually stimulating, particularly humorous….or necessarily interesting reading…. BUT hey I never promised that! All I said was that it would be a random collection of observations…a window to my world…. and it would definitely NOT be political, whining or negative.

So with a deep breath I now jump into part 2 of 2014…I’m still ‘50something…..and not dead yet’




14 May

As I have mentioned several times … I’m a ‘words’ person not a ‘numbers’ person.

So whenever I am out and about I can’t help but notice the them  … signs, numberplates & adverts ….words are everywhere, and where they’re  not  there  I make them up  (sounding a bit like a Rainman now eh?) .

But I often wonder how many other people read what they THINK they see rather than what’s  really there….you know  like seeing  ‘shopfitters’  …. but reading  ‘shoplifters’ ???.. go on admit it, you know you do…(I hope).shoplifting

These days though, there is the added challenge of working out cryptic business names…. you know the ones that someone (often when they were drunk) thought were  really ‘funny’ or clever names and they  turn out to be completely obscure or lame in the light of day.

My favourites are the ones that run the words together into one long nonsensical word. Not like a portmanteaus which can be clever (think ‘labradoodle’ or ‘californication’) ….but more like a  wordsaladorjumblewordstryingtopull  them apart at the right spot to see what is actually there.

Today I followed billthewindowman.. and had myself convinced that it was something to do with a blind woman… mmm I wonder how much business you get if people can’t figure what your name is?



pardon me if I repeat myself

12 Apr

…and I could (repeat myself that is) …with yet another public toilet adventure that happened today …. BUT I wont.

What I do want to talk about is our crazy habit of giving towns double (repeat word names) … Here I am tonight in Wagga Wagga.. yet all Aussies that I know, call it Wagga, and somehow when I hear the whole title I think people are trying to be funny, or mock the place..

When I left the airport  and was 5 mins down the road and came across the town (well call it a town  at a stretch …)gumly gumlyI was prompted to investigate. So… having settled into my hotel room, I resisted the urge to prepare myself for day 1 of Uni tomorrow and instead I consulted Mr Google about this silly name thing…. I was astonished to find that there are over 60 Australian locations whose names are duplicate words.

Not surprisingly many of them are Aboriginal names and apparently the reduplication is an indication of emphasis (if Wagga means crow then Wagga Wagga means MANY crows.. ) BUT what I don’t get is why we pick and choose which ones to abbreviate to one word … I mean why do we all call Wagga Wagga Wagga … but we don’t call Woy Woy, Woy??.

So many questions and so few answers …



what’s in a word…?

22 Feb


Having cut my adult teeth on medical jargon, you would think after 33years in the Health system, I would be used to nonsensical language. But the past few days have highlighted that you can never stay ahead of the ever changing word game. It seems that creation of new language (and acronyms) is a never ending craze… morphing and changing a bit like a mutating virus

I attended a conference over the past couple of days.The presentations were a mix of really interesting… voyeuristic…inspiring… and zzzzzzzzzzzz and I spent much of the time focussing on the language.

Every industry has its own ‘speak’ … a way of communicating that either  lets you ‘in’ or blocks you ‘out’ and I guess we just get used to it and become a bit immune; BUT when you superimpose web words, social media speak and industry idiom… and bring them together in one sentence it can be a little comical even to an insider. … for example

“using SMS, twitter & FB to increase HCV PCR screening of  IDU via SHCs & NSP”.

On top of that… it  seems that no organisation goes by a full title anymore, keeping you guessing what they actually do (mmm…perhaps that’s a strategy in itself ) and adding to the jargon. Over the  past two days we had CSRH,ACON, ASHM, MHHAS, AFAO, NHMRC, AHMRC, AIVL, NUAA along with NSP….. and that’s just off the top of my head.

But I wonder how different all of this language is really ?… compared to the late 70’s when I was just a junior nurse.

Ten points to anyone who can decipher the following (real) entry in a very memorable medical file when I worked in the Emergency Dept in 1979.

“this LOL, PAAF fell and # RNOF”

go figure …