Chuckling clams are lucky, whatever their lotto in life

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HAPPY WORDS IN THE HAND

Chuckling clams are lucky, whatever their lotto in life

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Journalist

There are many words for happiness. Pleasure, joy, delight, rapture, ecstasy, gladness, cheer, exaltation … but can mere words make us happy?

A compliment can, or a love letter. Sometimes all it takes is a fine line of poetry or a funny joke to lift the spirits. I have in my desk drawer a ragged cutout of a cartoon panel in which Calvin the tousle-haired tearaway tells Hobbes the stuffed tiger: “Happiness is not enough. I demand euphoria.” This makes me happy.

I had a large euphorbia plant on my patio once, but it caused more anxiety than happiness because Alphonse the cat, whose hobby was climbing, saw this monster as a challenge, and poison leaked from the plant when its fingers broke off so I sent it to a better home with no cats and more sun, where it was so happy it turned orange...

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