This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Thing To Do Today: be a spark.

The first meaning of spark in the Collins dictionary is a fashionable or gallant young man.

Now I could try to be fashionable, or even gallant, but the man thing would take a lot of surgery. As for young, that would, I fear require a Time Machine.

Luckily, to be a spark also means to be clever or witty, so..., that's not much easier, is it.

I needn't quite give up, though, because in England a bright spark is almost always used ironically, as in what bright spark forgot to put the handbrake on?

Or what bright spark left the lions' cage door open?

Or what bright spark forgot to put the plug in before we launched the boat?
I can do that sort of thing effortlessly.

If you're completely unable to be stupid in that way (unlikely, I know) then perhaps you could try re-wiring a plug, as Sparks or Sparkie is the traditional nickname for an electrician.

Or you could try being sparky, that is original and lively.

Be careful you don't annoy people and spark off any arguments, though.

Thing To Do Today: be a spark. Spark in this sense came to Engish in the 1500s, when it meant a beautiful or witty woman. It's likely to have come from Scandinavia as there's an Old Norse word sparkr, which means vivacious.

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