Windy word

THE singular term “they”, used as a pronoun for those who identify as non-binary, was recently voted word of the decade by US linguists. Reader Andy Cronin is curious to know what Scottish word best embodies the last 10 years. He suggests that a certain melodious term of great distinction should grab top spot. A word that really came into its own when it was promoted from being a description of a fellow’s dangly bits to the preferred name for the severe weather conditions that assailed our nation in 2011. “Only in Scotland could you get chased down the street by something called Hurricane Bawbag,” says Andy. “I can’t think of a better word for admitting that our native weather is totally nuts.”

Battle of the broom

THE war fought between the sexes has been going on since our caveman (and cavewoman) days. And it isn’t always a fair and rational conflict, as writer of teen fiction Ross Sayers is discovering. “My girlfriend told me she thinks all men are useless at using a broom,” he reveals. “I said, hey, don't make sweeping generalisations.”

Skate fate

OUR discussion about fumbled phrases reminds reader Tom Law of the time he worked in a hospital lab. The boss of the lab was presented with a bold new work rota plan. Devised by the workers themselves, the plan would have bent the existing operational guidelines ever so slightly. The boss, not impressed by such a casual dismissal of the exalted rule book, complained that the workers were “skating on thin water”. A dangerous state of affairs, as we all know what happens when you attempt such a feat: Splash! Glug, glug, glug, glug…

Family matters

HARRY and Meghan’s ambitious plan to escape the loving clutches of their British subjects, and make a new and financially independent life for themselves across the Pond has impressed reader Tom McEwan. “Surely this must be the first recorded case of a couple quitting their family to spend more time with their work,” says Tom.

Torn muscles

DECIDING to get rid of excess Christmas flab, reader Charles Connolly visited a gym for the first time. He admits to being bamboozled by the technical language used by the strapping blokes in the changing room. “I remember when the only thing you could rip was a piece of paper or an envelope,” he says, “but apparently you can now have a ripped body.” Charles adds with a confused sigh: “I’m not really sure what that actually entails. Though to make the ripping easy, I’m assuming those muscle-bound lads must have a perforated strip running across their waistlines.”

Cowboy calling

GETTING some renovations completed in his house, reader Chris Davis was surprised to discover the electrician he had hired was unlicensed. “Needless to say I was shocked,” says Chris.

Read more: Actor Brian Cox in Glasgow, 2003 and 2012