Write like you talk



“Ok, so written and spoken language are different. Does that make written language worse?

If you want people to read and understand what you write, yes. Written language is more complex, which makes it more work to read. It’s also more formal and distant, which gives the reader’s attention permission to drift. But perhaps worst of all, the complex sentences and fancy words give you, the writer, the false impression that you’re saying more than you actually are.

You don’t need complex sentences to express complex ideas. When specialists in some abstruse topic talk to one another about ideas in their field, they don’t use sentences any more complex than they do when talking about what to have for lunch. They use different words, certainly. But even those they use no more than necessary. And in my experience, the harder the subject, the more informally experts speak. Partly, I think, because they have less to prove, and partly because the harder the ideas you’re talking about, the less you can afford to let language get in the way.

Informal language is the athletic clothing of ideas.

I’m not saying spoken language always works best. Poetry is as much music as text, so you can say things you wouldn’t say in conversation. And there are a handful of writers who can get away with using fancy language in prose. And then of course there are cases where writers don’t want to make it easy to understand what they’re saying—in corporate announcements of bad news, for example, or at the more bogus end of the humanities. But for nearly everyone else, spoken language is better.”

What is loneliness?



R: That’s so tragic. Why does it become harder to connect the longer you are lonely?

ML: There’s an interesting theory.

We depend on others to feel secure. When we feel lonely, we feel like there’s a permanent threat. It might not be a real threat, but we perceive things as threatening.

So what this amounts to when we’re in a normal, neutral social situation, we’re more likely to interpret the other person as being threatening. Someone might look at us in a neutral way, and the lonely person will think, “This person doesn’t like me.”

A few more names

Barmouth where the pubs bite
Harlech where they don’t wash their hair
Skipton. they miss  one or two
Preston, they don’t iron everything
Bury,a large cemetery
Didsbury,I did bury him
Swinton  where the pigs are heavy
Salford. where they hoard selfies
Northampton, near Ampton but a long way from
Ham is in West London but not  in Golders Green
Wimbledon.What is a wimble?

Names to ponder

She said she’s from Worcester and it  rhymes with fluster.What sauce!
He’s from Southall, Southwell. or Southport. I can’ tell as he speaks a dialect
She said,Go to Blackpool? I am an out and out racist.What a pity she never learned geography.But was there a pool there once?
If I close my eyes will Morecambe?
I liked Settle  but he liked Dent.So we  wanted  to emigrate to Jaffa but as we are English they said they didn’t want us.Can you blame them?
I thought with us not being Arabs it might be ok.But we did buy some lovely oranges
Actually,my granny was from Egypt but I don’t look like her except I am not white.
I don’t know  how to describe my colour.Medium beige? The man at the border was darker than me.But the Ashkenazi are as white as snow.

The rudest place names in Britain


Something goes wrong with this link but see comments for the right one



A new poll of the rudest (and funniest) place names in the UK has been released.

The poll, the brain child of comedian Chris Ramsey in collaboration with Swiftcover.com asked residents to vote for the most bizarre and hilarious place names they could think of in the United Kingdom.

Topping the list this year is “Bell End” on 36.35 per cent. Rather suitably, Bell End is located in the village of “Lickey End”, Worcestershire.

Here’s the top 10 in full:

1. Bell End, Worcestershire – 36.35%


Photo: Google Street View

2. Brown Willy, Cornwall – 34.25%

3. Boggy Bottom, Hertfordshire – 30.55%

4. Twatt, Orkney – 26.20%


Photo: Google Street View

5. Nob End, South Lancashire – 26.15%

6. Fanny Barks, Durham – 24.45%

7. Scratchy Bottom, Dorset – 24.35%

8. Minge Lane, Worcestershire – 23.80%


Photo: Google Street View

9. Dicks Mount, Suffolk – 23.25%

10. Crotch Crescent, Oxford –22.25%


Photo: Google Street ViewAn honourable mention goes to Camrose, Pembrokeshire, which in January this year was briefly renamed “Cumrose”. The mistake was a result of a council blunder which printed Cumrose on a street sign to the amusement of local residents.

He  never called me banana

He never called me Bubbala
For that word means grandma, I think~
He called me his babe
A noun, what’d you say
Is it a nod or a wink.

He  never called me banana
I am an apple to him
He tried to bite me
Oh,Lord, he will frighten me
I’d best  give up talking to men


To him I was kind of tomato
The sort that is salad all day
He said I blushed far too much
And I refused  his kitsch
I’ll have to find some other way

Losing keys and other things

If you never go out,you won’t need to worry about losing keys or bus passes.
It seems an extreme solution.

I wonder if some of our neuroses are based on that kind of thinking?
Afraid of being rejected…become a loner for ever
Afraid you are ugly…… wear horrible clothes.
Afraid you can’t do maths…. join a religious order.
Afraid of  being a virgin at the age of 21? Get married at 20.That;s a bit out of date!
Afraid of dying? Commit suicide to get it over with.That’s mad.
Afraid of food? I can’t think what to say.Try cheese and bread.
Afraid of aliens? Join the club

Honouring Paul Tillich

Paul Tillich gave our spirit proper place.

He showed us courage as a  space to dwell.

He wrote for us and left us with   his  grace

With hope he might speak and he might tell.

So many people ignored Fascist speech

And lived with mind cut off from  their own soul

With pen in hand he wrote to reach

And touch us as we strive towards the whole.

Expelled from his own country, he wrote on

Continuing during  tortuous war long years

He lived, he loved ,he wrote, he died and then

His books continue to dispatch our fears.

For many men have lived and have destroyed.

Yet Tillich showed  us how to face the  void

The courage to be

Written March 2015



You know this experience, sometimes when you are browsing in a bookshop you come across a book with a wonderful title. This happened to me as  student when I saw a book with this title:

“The courage to be ”

by Paul Tillich

I was going through a  very hard time indeed and just the title alone helped me as no one I knew had ever said it takes courage to live well.So I bought this book and dipped in. I found it interesting and thoughtful.Sometimes I would just look at the front cover and repeat the title.I had discovered mantra meditation.in a sense.

This morning I was listening to a radio programme  about poetry in England and tidying up. Suddenly my old battered copy fell out of a shelf and into my hand.And I said, thank you. Because I had  lost this companion and now it’s restored to me when I need again to say the words to help me in a personal crisis.

The Courage to Be

And to recognise the power of words on the human mind and thus to take care of  self and others and what we say to them for they too are struggling humans as we ourselves are.

And to discover virtue is not faux piety which suddenly reminded me that Tillich had a weakness for women. He was no plaster saint. I am not saying. I approve.

Had he stayed in Germany he would no doubt have been imprisoned even killed like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.He would not have been silent

Books… they save lives. I was so grateful and still am for education, books, people who talk to me .Had I lived a few years earlier it would have been different.


Tillich was expelled from Germany in 1933,the first non-Jewish theologian to have this honor bestowed on him.I never saw him but I love him for his writing.

Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.
Paul Tillich
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/paul_tillich.html#y15kkZigwdviBd76.99

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