Red wine, snow and a conundrum

Dear UK government, I would like to apologise but I appear to have used up about two weeks of my allotted alcohol allowance in one evening. I’m very sorry.

Our good friend J came round for dinner last night and whilst we were eating Gill’s rich but still healthy chicken and squash cacciatore; decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies by laughing hysterically and generally having a very wonderful evening, we drank an awful lot of wine. Oh well, rules wouldn’t be rules if they didn’t get broken now and again would they?

Anyway, notwithstanding any long term damage, I appear to have got off quite lightly and a bacon butty and a good walk in the snow have restored something close to a feeling of general wellbeing.

While we were out on our walk a car slowed down alongside us and the driver made arm waving motions which I took to mean “do you want a lift?” I made arm waving motions back that could easily be interpreted as, “No thanks we are just having a stroll on this lovely snowy winter’s morning to blow away the cobwebs which have formed due to an over indulgence of red wine last night.” He didn’t seem to understand so he stopped, wound down his window and said, “Do you want a lift somewhere?” How nice is that? I’m sure he was genuine because he didn’t offer us sweets or anything. Anyway I declined, explaining that we were just having a walk without bothering to go into the details about the cobwebs and the wine. As he drove off we were infused by a warm glow induced by that ‘kindness of strangers’ thing that reminds you that the world is actually quite a nice place.

That’s all I have for today apart from the need to share something with you that has been bothering me for quite a while now. I generally love the English language for its complexity, versatility and occasionally downright quirkiness but can somebody please explain this for me:

If cannot becomes can’t and does not becomes doesn’t, if is not is isn’t and did not is didn’t, if could not becomes couldn’t and would not wouldn’t, had not hadn’t and has not hasn’t then why oh why is will not not willn’t?

And here’s picture of a very chilly Ribble Estuary from this morning’s walk.

WinterRibble1

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5 thoughts on “Red wine, snow and a conundrum

  1. Your nieces were here with their children today and I read out your post. We all had a really good laugh??? No wine for you tonight?

  2. I also love the English language. My explanation of the lack of willn’t is very simple. It sounds wrong. In my opinion, a lot of the reason for English’s quirks is that certain things just sound better to the ear than others. It’s why longer comparatives happen, eg more interesting rather than interestinger, and I think it explains some collocations eg. we say a quick shower, but a fast car. I think it’s just because the sound of quick car or fast shower isn’t pleasing to the ear. Anyway, that’s my theory.

    • Hmm, not convinced about that. I think that willn’t sounds ridiculous, I agree, but if it was in everyday use it wouldn’t. I have always been fascinated by odd company brands like Apple, Orange or, my favourite, Look. I’m sure they sounded odd when they were first conceived but with use they become acceptable. Anyway, it’s lovely to hear from you and when you come to see us we can talk about this and interestinger things too.

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