Sometimes, through no fault of their own, words need to fade away. It's sad, but their presence is just causing too much confusion.
Such a word is techy when it means irritable. Luckily we can write it tetchy, and then the problem of confusing it with the word techy which means someone with technical knowledge disappears.
For those feeling sorry for the first techy, which was, after all, here first, I can only suggest a compromise where the technical techies move exclusively to the alternative spelling techie.
That must be fair to all parties.
There is probably someone out there wondering why on earth I imagine that a word might have feelings to hurt - and I must admit that I am, too - but still, I feel less worried, now.
It's just a slight pity that if the person on the Technical Help phone line proves to be a bit irritable we can't call him a techy techy, that's all.
Sunday Rest: techy. The bad-tempered techy comes from tetch, which used to mean defect. The Old French tache means spot.. The Greek word tekhnē means art or skill.