Friday, 4 October 2013
Word To Use Today: squinch.
Who could resist using a word like that, whatever it means?
It's brilliant, for instance, for giving an air of authenticity to a quotation.
As Mr Squinch says...
Ten to one people will assume that the said Mr Squinch is someone from Dickens, especially if you simper a little and look very wise as you say it.
(Actually, I haven't read all of Dickens myself. So for all I know Mr Squinch might well be someone from one of his novels.)
Or how about: have they offered you a drink?
Not a squinch.
It works brilliantly, doesn't it.
Okay, though, but what is a squinch, really?
One of these:
Squinches supporting a dome in Odzun Basilica, Armenia.
Yes, a squinch is built out from the corner of a wall so that a square tower can support a round or octagonal one.
They were probably invented in Iran.
I think it's a waste of a lovely word to have the thing stuck up inside a dark church tower, though, and I really think might try giving Mr Squinch an outing.
Beans don't ripen in a bird's nest, as Mr Squinch says.
Word To Use Today: squinch. The official word comes from the Middle English sconcheon, from the Old French escoinson, from coin, corner.
Which as it happens is pretty much where we were last week.