As everyone knows, the Patronus charm is the antidote to a Dementor attack; and my Patronus yesterday was made possible by the collaboration of Mark, the Positive Mental Attitude people from Facebook, members of the Martyrs prayer chain – and a really hot bath. After a truly horrible day I began to feel better and today I feel a new woman.
Incidentally, I’m thinking of coming up with a new name to replace ‘woman’; the word is bulky and not nearly as punchy as the monosyllabic ‘man’; not only that but its derivation is a complete lie: ‘wo-man’ = ‘taken from man.’ This may seem a tad obsessive to some but it’s been bugging me for a long while; attempts to replace it have in the past not been successful; viz. the 1980’s spelling ‘womyn’ which centred around Greenham Common. I’m not sure where that spelling originated but it was an attempt to separate ‘women who are politically active on the left’ from other females and, as such, was very divisive. I never felt comfortable with it. So, what we want is a monosyllabic name which expresses woman – but I’m not coming up with anything. ‘Wan’ already means ‘pale and interesting’ and I don’t think we need to go there; ‘wen’ sounds like it’s short for Wendy (incidentally I’ve got a character in ‘Knots’ who’s known as ‘Wen’ but it’s short for ‘Wainright’; she’s a bit of a blue-stocking. But only a bit.) So I’m a bit stumped. Still, maybe something will occur.
Inventing words can be a tricky business: they not only have to fulfil a need; they have to strike a chord with people in general. I suspect that one or two terms from Harry Potter may make their way into the language – then again, maybe they won’t. In our household some of Douglas Adams’ inventions are in regular use, though few of our visitors understand them – for example, grimbister, meaning ‘a group of cars all travelling at the same speed because one of them is a police car’, and scraptoft, more generally known as a comb-over. One I particularly like, though we don’t use it, is didcot, meaning the small circle clipped out of a railway ticket, but my personal favourite is skoonspruit, which indicates that ‘garden sprinkler’ thing your mouth sometimes does for no apparent reason.
So: I’m feeling much more positive today and with any luck the laptop will soon be among us and early bloggings resumed, for which relief much thanks will be offered.