WISDOM does not necessarily arrive with a formal education, argues reader Norrie Patterson, who is not enamoured by the procedure that guides an impressionable youth from the shadow of the nursery gate to the dreaming spires of university.

“Learning,” he says, “is merely the process of going from Play-Doh to Plato.”

Knotty teacher

AUTHOR Deedee Cuddihy was listening to a Radio Scotland phone-in. During a discussion about school exams in the Covid era, one caller harrumphed: "Teachers have been working their socks off with one hand tied behind their backs."

Deedee wasn't entirely sure what this cryptic phrase meant, though perhaps the material being used to bind teachers’ hands is provided by the socks that are dropping off in such great numbers…

Talk is cheap

THE Diary has long campaigned to improve our local lingo by discovering words that do not appear in the English dictionary, but really should.

Jim Hamilton suggests: “Nonversation (noun): A worthless conversation where nothing is illuminated, explained or otherwise elaborated upon. Typically occurs at parties, bars or other noisy social events.”

Spikey communication

WE have been discussing the scholarly scribbles scrawled on Glasgow University Union’s toilet doors. Reader Lachlan Bradley points out that literary works of great genius are not the sole preserve of Glasgow Uni cubicles.

He tells us that in the 1970s Strathclyde Uni attempted to eradicate the art form by redecorating the toilet walls in the Reading Room with a closely-stippled surface very much like Artex. While it encouraged the use of shorter sentences, it made little difference to the quantity of reading material on offer. One such contribution read: “How do you b******s find flat bits to write on?”

It was signed: “The Jannie.”

Aching breaking

DURING a weekend stroll, reader Darren Hogg passed an elderly gent riding a bicycle. The bike’s owner must have attempted to change gears, for his contraption emitted a loud, pained, metallic screech, like a Dalek in its death throes.

“I’ve no idea why it’s acting up now,” muttered the elderly fellow as he whizzed past. “I’ve only been riding it 63 years.”

Bottling it

THE husband of reader Joanna Murray decided to assist her while she cooked dinner. His help mostly consisted of him glugging from a bottle of wine Joanna had bought to make a sauce.

“Well,” said hubby, stoutly defending his culinary acumen, “the recipe says reduce the wine. And that’s exactly what I’m in the process of doing.”

Financial returns

COMMERCIALLY minded reader Colin Harris says: “I’ve just sold my homing pigeon on eBay. For the 22nd time.”