Bit late… big day! Here’s a Wednesday whoo for you. Hard-Fi with Hard to Beat – a little bit of summer 2005 for you.

This was the summer of my brand new baby Honda Civic S, which is now an old dude of nine… I think this was the first summer I was properly grown up with few overheads and a sensible income. It was another summer of being locked in dark rooms marking SATs papers and GCSEs. Did I even have a break that summer? I doubt it.

I spent a lot of time down in London that year for conferences and meetings, including meetings in well-dressed government buildings behind the Houses of Parliament. One of the companies I was writing for had an apartment in Green Park that we were welcome to use when we were down in London. It feels like another world now. It was a very small world really – a world of names I already knew well and I was kind of starstruck to be spending time in such illustrious company. When I was on the same billing as Professor David Crystal on a conference at some huge venue in London, it was akin to being on the same bill as the Rolling Stones or AC/DC. Not that those names mean much to most people not interested in languages and grammar. I’m such a linguist geek. There’s nothing I don’t love about words and sentences, from their bare bones to their history, to the letters that make them to the sense they’ve carved out. When a new student’s mum told me today that her daughter had said ‘I LOVE verbs!’ on the way home in the car after school, I felt my heart leap just a little that someone might feel the same as me.

Here’s to the word nerds, the lovers of linguistics, the puntastics, the poets, the playwrights, the authors, the punctilious punctuators, the amateur etymologists

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