Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flatter, yet flattery is a word redolent of insincerity, and, as my son persistently says,”always be sincere, even when you don’t mean it.” {It is strange how people with their favourite little pocket jokes, always manage to  present them with an air of novelty}.

What sparked this off was a programme I saw on television last autumn by the ubiquitous Stephen Fry, when he had a series  of about half a dozen evenings when he was indulged with permission, as he put it, merely to waffle. He then promoted waffle almost to a separate language. As time went on, as I remember it, the language seemed mostly bad, though in describing  our oaths and expletives as “bad language” we are probably being very rude to some perfectly harmless  Anglo-Saxon. One wonders whether the Anglo-Saxons reverted to Ancient British for their “bad language”, and if so, how far back the process went; presumably to some sort of  grunts, some of which probably are genuinely obscene.

As for waffle being a separate language, I was drawn to my old friend the Oxford Dictionary of English; , but waffle was described as a crispy cake., as very lengthy indecision,and rather exemplify it than define it. So I turned to that great writer and inventor of the English language, Lewis Carroll. Especially in that difficult piece, the Jabberwocky poem. {Where incidentally, the Jabberwock is described as whiffling through the tulgey wood; but a whiffe is light breeze, which doesn’t sound like the Jabberwocky. Nor does ‘waffling’; and what’s a tulgey wood, anyway.

Even Humpty  Dumpty admitted it was difficult, but he had a very arbitrary attitude to words, and just decided what they meant

“ Impenetrability”, that’s what I say.

To me that sounds like Antidisestablishmentism,which is a word people tried to send for about a penny in a telegram

So I decided I was going round in circles,  like the Jubjub bird, which eventually disappeared up its own backside.,so I decided to stop, and devote my energies to something more useful, like tidying up my “Space Reserved “ notice.

For this winter’s programme will be over by the time you read this, and onetwinterat a time is quite enough, thank you.

Ron Silk. W.P.O   July.18th 2011