Absurd word

We mentioned bookshop dwellers yesterday, and reader Alison Murray happens to be of that tribe. The other day she was browsing in her favourite Edinburgh book emporium when she picked up a novel that had a curious blurb on the front cover.

"This book is daft and clever," was the statement.

“How can a book be both daft and clever?” wondered Alison.

Then she donned her reading glasses for closer scrutiny, and realised what had actually been written was "‘deft and clever".

“Which left me feeling exceedingly daft,” says Alison. “Or do I mean deft?”

The naked truth?

SOME years ago Allan Richardson from Beith was enjoying a family outing in London when his young son spied a sign which read "Topless Bar".

The youngster, understandably confused, said to his mum, if the bar was topless, where did they put the drinks?

Team talk

GROUP nouns are often memorable. For example, the Diary always feels a shudder run up its spine at the mere mention of a murder of crows. Though such a description is unfair on innocent crows, who are a well-balanced, jovial lot, not like those psychotic pigeons.

(If you don’t believe us about the pigeons, grab a copy of Monday’s Herald, where we exclusively revealed their latest wicked attempt at world domination.)

But back to group nouns. Reader Alan Wright spotted a group of dandified young men swaggering into a trendy Glasgow boozer, clearly on the hunt for romance.

“Which got me thinking,” says Alan. “If a fleet of ships is a flotilla, then surely chaps on the pull are a flirtilla.”


MORE pigeon prattle. Ian Noble from Carstairs Village spotted a recent Herald mention of the Scots word doo.

“Which reminded me,” says Ian, “of the old song titled ‘My Wife’s Pigeon Chested, That’s Why I Love Her Like Ah Doo’.”

Read more from the Diary: Well, how else would you mark World Obesity Day?

Follies of fashion

LUNCHING in a chic Shawlands eatery, reader Mark Yorke overheard two elderly ladies chatting at a nearby table.

“Have you noticed how upmarket Shawlands has become?” said one lady.

“I’m not sure I approve,” sniffed her friend. “A patisserie on every corner, and hardly a Greggs on the horizon.”

Taking the P

THE cleaner of a public toilet visited by Sid Leslie from Kirkintilloch had hung a notice outside the door stating "Wet Floor".

Underneath, someone had added: "This is a warning, not an instruction."

Language games

QUIZ time. Reader Norman Wootton asks: “What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?” The answer is, of course… Short.

Read more from the Diary: Going full-throttle for the hecklers