Word Of The Day : Pencil

Word of the day : Pencil.

Today we are going to consider, in all its ramifications and from every conceivable angle, the word pencil. Before we do so, however, imagine yourself steaming open my correspondence and, with the aid of a flaming torch in the darkness, reading the latest missive to plop onto the Key mat:

Dear Mr Key : Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Poppy Nisbet and I am the downstairs neighbour of your pesky serial Word of the Day correspondent Wlad Onanugu. Or, should I say, I was his downstairs neighbour. I am pleased to say that the upstairs flat is now empty, Mr Onanugu having been dragged away, very early this morning, by a whirling tangle of ruffians dressed in police uniforms. Next stop : Durance Vile, a barren rock far out at sea, from which no convict has ever escaped, and where there are no stationery supplies. You will not be hearing from Mr O. again. That will teach him to spit at one of my kittens in the hallway.

I have innumerable kittens, and I also have a great love of words, which is why your Word of the Day series has proved such a tonic. At one point I was so damnably cheerful that I even considered letting Mr Onanugu off the hook, and not making that call to my pals on the Legally Questionable Abduction Team. The spat-upon kitten gazed at me plaintively, however, and wiser counsels prevailed.

Anyway, to business! I am a very busy woman, so it is only today that I have found the time to enact the illustrative sentence you gave for the word parp. I clattered into a room full of tots, having first smeared my face with beetroot juice and boggled my eyes. I then parped my hooter. I am pleased to say it was a roaring (or should I say parping?) success.

When I can find time within my schedule I intend to act out all the words in your Word of the Day feature, whether or not you provide an illustrative sentence. For verbs this should pose no serious challenge. As for nouns, I have already resolved to make purchase of a mop and some glue and a pencil, and will take it from there.

I will not, however, be pestering you with daily letters keeping you abreast of my doings, as I am mindful that you only have limited space available for the Word of the Day, and I appreciate that you must become exasperated when that space is taken up, as it is today, by foolish wittering letters from your readers. I fear I have already prevented you from paying due attention to pencil, thus increasing the backlog of words which you still need to get to grips with if you are to maintain your dignity as a Word of the Dayist. By my reckoning, that includes toot, hooter, tots, boggle, clunk, glue, and nap..

Perhaps I can be of assistance by performing some sort of stage flummery utilising all those words at one fell swoop, and writing an account of it for you. Then you would be able to put each and every one of them behind you and “move on”, as the airheads say nowadays. First of all, though, I must feed my kittens, and wipe them free of any neighbours’ spittle.

Yours terrifically, Poppy Nisbet

I am most grateful to Ms Nisbet, and shall await her report. In recognition of her efforts, I have decided that tomorrow’s Word of the Day will be nisbet.

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