Not to laugh. Having led a sheltered life, I’d never heard a swear word until I was plunged into newspapers.
The bustling newsroom at North Bridge broadened my education, where my ears recoiled at words foreign to me, scout’s honour. Copy deadlines and demonic chief reporters. Even back then the language was, shall we say, somewhat “rich”.
But nothing as heinous as the un-regal rant purported to have spilled from the lips of Dame Helen Mirren, garbed in tiara and pearls as, mid-performance, she stormed out of a London theatre and told the busking band outside to belt up.
“I’m trying to do a play in here,” she hollered, using language that would make a stevedore blush.
Does the queeny know what a stevedore looks like, by the way?
The words is . .
Pronunciation. That’s the snag about baobab, the new super fruit from Africa. Not to be confused with “bawbag”, a word you won’t find in the Oxford.
Perhaps in a supermarket near you, sales of baobab reportedly have zoomed a thousand per cent in the last six months.
Three times richer in vitamin C as an orange. Try it on your squeeze.
Afterwords . . .
. . . Childbirth holds no fears for Peter O’Toole, who, at his request, saw former girlfriend Karen Somerville give birth to their son Lorcan in Dublin. O’Toole’s verdict: “To be honest, I have seen far worse things come out of my nose.” Charming as ever.