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Paul Whybrow

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Jun 20, 2015
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I've been reading handbooks on writing for a few months, acquiring them off Amazon, Abebooks and eBay - usually for a few pounds.
I've had my eye on Harry Bingham's The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook Guide to Getting Published, for a while, putting a watch on it as all the copies advertised were at least £13.
I read somewhere that putting an item into your shopping basket, then leaving it there, could have benefits with the seller offering the would-be buyer a discount to make the sale. Sure enough, after placing a copy of the publishing guide in my basket for two weeks, I received an email notification that the last copy had been reduced to £2.59 with free postage and packing.
I made it mine, saving about £10.
Incidentally, Harry Bingham is a thriller writer, who after having problems securing an agent and publisher for his first book, established an advice site called Writers' Workshop which also offers editorial services :
http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/harry-bingham-author.html
He's made several useful videos, which are on YouTube.
 
Thanks Paul, for sharing Harry Bingham's website - looks really useful.
 
What is a numpty? by Jenny Colgan
Scotland's favourite word, according to a poll by BT Openreach, is numpty. Derived from "numps", an obsolete word for a stupid person, rather than the more obvious numbnuts or numbskull, the term implies general idiocy, often in my experience accompanied by windbaggery. Which explains why you will most often find it used in connection with members of the Scottish Parliament.
But numpty is a multi-purpose word, with great flexibility - my husband, for example, calls me "numpty-noo", an affectionate variation (I hope). With its plosive "p", it is a word capable of withstanding being hurled across football terraces - "Heid tha ball, ya useless nuuuuumpties!" - or gently remonstrating with a small child -"I know you didn't mean tae forget your gym kit, Hamish, but you'll look a right numpty in your vest and pants and nae mistake."

Alex Ferguson is rumoured to use it widely in the dressing room (no wonder David Beckham left), while famous numpties would include Prince Charles, at least for the month a year he's at Balmoral poncing about in a kilt and green socks. Numpty is catchy but that doesn't mean it will take off south of the border. "Ned", for example, is heard only in Scotland as the local term for chav. And scunnered (a runner-up in the poll), while useful, faces too much competition to describe the feeling of being a bit pissed off.

The ultimate winner in the poll was "love" which suggests that the people who voted for it didn't understand the question. More to the point, there is nothing satisfying about a word that can be spelled "luv" and doesn't have a single hard consonant in it. Meanwhile, the most popular word among English males who voted was "antidisestablishmentarianism". Really. What a total and utter bunch of numpties.
 
Numpty gets used down my way quite a lot, it has the same meaning and can be used affectionately. Plank is a similar sentiment 'oh you plank!', like 'thick as two short planks'. A spanner or spoon can also be used for an idiot, 'more use than a bag of spanners'. Spoon is more of an adaptation from american slang, spooning is a way to cuddle together, but there is always a 'big spoon' and a 'little spoon'. The little spoon would need a big spoon to look after it.
 
Lol We have hunners :p Dough-heid is a favourite of mine, and heid-the-baw, bugger-lugs, baw-jaws I could actually sit here all day and not list all the terms for idiot we use :p
 
Oh come on! I already know what it means. Lol! Talk about not letting it slide :p

The moment came and it passed, let's move on now shall we. I just did..well from west london to north east london! :D
 
Numpty gets used down my way quite a lot, it has the same meaning and can be used affectionately. Plank is a similar sentiment 'oh you plank!', like 'thick as two short planks'. A spanner or spoon can also be used for an idiot, 'more use than a bag of spanners'. Spoon is more of an adaptation from american slang, spooning is a way to cuddle together, but there is always a 'big spoon' and a 'little spoon'. The little spoon would need a big spoon to look after it.

I like plonker myself. Good old Del Boy.
 
Bonza, now moving right along, via the Portland (Oregon) airshow, where I went today... ;)
 
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