Swearing off literature

THE Diary is always happy to endorse a book published for educational purposes. By this we mean a tome that enhances the intellect of the individual while also elevating the moral standing of the community.

Deedee Cuddihy’s Wee Guide to Scottish Swearing is such a volume.

Available on Deedee’s Funny Scottish Books website, it promises ‘entry level playground swearing’ for the rank amateur. There’s also grittier fare for those who have reached a scholarly level of inquiry.

We particularly like a disclaimer on the back of the guide: ‘If you find anything in this book offensive, please complain as it could help to boost sales.’

Peers appear perished

BECAUSE the planet Venus is cloaked in ferociously hot gases, it has long been accepted that it’s incapable of sustaining life. This week scientists revealed that, contrary to calculations, micro organisms do appear to live there.

Reader Derek Small says: “Can we now conclude that the only place in the galaxy where there’s still no trace of life is the House of Lords?”

Travel advice

A SNIPPET of dialogue overheard on Argyle Street by reader Adam Dunlop.

First woman: We’re saving up for Disneyland for next summer. Then the year after, hopefully Paris.

Second woman: Oh, Disneyland’s wonderful. But I wouldn’t bother with Paris. It’s completely fake.

Dictionary corner

THE Diary’s inhouse lexicographer, Doug Maughan, is devising alternative meanings of words. Here’s his latest ditzy definition.

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realise it was your money to begin with.

Mauled monk

WE’VE been attempting to discover the laziest person to ever name a geographical location. John Donohoe points out that an abrupt or idiosyncratic place name isn’t always the result of indolence.

He believes that whoever named the River E near Loch Ness must have been a canny Highlander who took joy in hoarding letters.

Our reader also suspects that the monk who marked the little hill on Iona known as ‘Dun I’ was interrupted in his endeavours by Viking marauders.

(In other words, the poor chap was dun in.)

Taking the biscuit

STROLLING through Buchanan Galleries, reader Mary Borthwick noticed her husband using the free hand gel supplied by numerous dispensers. Sometimes he squirted several times a minute, even when he wasn’t touching anything. Mary thought this rather excessive.

“The problem is it’s so moreish,” explained hubby. “You know, like Jaffa Cakes.”

Deadly silence

CONCERNED reader Penny Burke asks: “How many mine artists choke to death every year because people just assume it’s part of the act?”