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David: I made a phonecall today to arrange an interview with an actor. The resulting twenty minutes was less a conversation as being caught up in a furious, sweary whirlwind of words, stories, insults and insights. I wanted a word to capture how it felt to be battered and swept along by the hurricane of words that came from this 71-year-old mouth, of being caught in a gale force of expression. The best word that came to mind was whirligig. I remember as a child how much I adored just the sound of the word, how perfectly it seemed to capture the action of being wind-whirled. Somehow, even if the dictionary does not agree, the word for being tossed around by storm of words should be whirligigged.

Jo: they say that you learn something every day, and I’m ashamed to say that until I just looked this word up I thought it only meant one thing – and that’s a rotary clothes dryer! Over the years, hanging out the clothes has, as I like to put it, been under my jurisdiction. At various times and places we have had a whirligig. Whilst, you cannot fault them for maximizing the volume of clothes in small space, I find them nowhere near as satisfying. I love seeing a line of washing swaying in the breeze. I was shocked to hear a piece on the radio the other day about how they were taking down the washing lines outside blocks of flats, because no one uses them. Apparently, nowadays, I am in minority, few people use a washing line – whirligig or otherwise.

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