Pun and punishment

DIARY readers often get in touch to ask what makes a truly inspirational journalist.

Is it a commitment to the truth? A determination to shine a spotlight on iniquity? The bravery to report in dangerous parts of the world?


None of the above matters quite so much as the ability to concoct an outstanding pun.

The Diary does its best to provide you with a few memorable word-wranglers each week, though we’re always delighted when our linguistically lithe colleagues on the mighty Herald pick up the slack.

George Kirkland from Bearsden was particularly impressed by a line in Alison Rowat’s Herald on Sunday review of the new series of Shetland, where she wrote, ‘Made in Shetland from Murders’.

Says a truly jolted George: “She should be put behind Barr’s for that.”


Heads you lose  

IN these tough financial times even dynamic business organisations must cut costs, notes reader David Donaldson, who has devised a crafty way for companies to save dosh.

“Instead of paying a fortune for celeb endorsements,” he says, “they should use famous figures from history, instead.”

David has one such suggestion. Head & Shoulders could have Henry VIII saying: "My ex-wives certainly don't have a problem with dandruff."


The name game

WE’RE celebrating memorable workplace monikers. Peter Sommerville from Greenock says: “There was a Glasgow docker in the 1960s who was known as ‘The Destroyer’ due to the fact he was continually looking for a sub.”


Stolen moments

A SAD tale of vaulting ambition… followed by crushing disappointment. “Growing up, I was told I could become anyone I wanted to be,” says reader Len Moore. “Now they tell me that’s identity theft.”


Rye humour

THE Diary is celebrating its passion for literature by suggesting possible variants to classic novels.

An East Dunbartonshire resident says: “Did JD Salinger miss a trick by failing to produce a sequel to The Catcher In The Rye, where his protagonist descends into the depths of alcoholism in the book Going Through The Rye?”


Busted by Brutus

HISTORY is a bit of a mystery, though we’re trying to disperse the clouds of confusion by figuring out Julius Caesar’s last words.

Reader Jim Morrison suggests they might have been: "Honest, Brutus. I never called you a little $%£@.”

(By the way, $%£@ is a Latin word, which can be translated into English as: ****.)

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Universal disease

FROM history we make a dramatic shift to astronomy. “What do you call someone allergic to galaxies?” asks reader Caroline Stanley. “Galactose intolerant.”