Verily scrabbling in this bargain box yields deft argot. Word!

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CHEAP WORDS IN THE HAND

Verily scrabbling in this bargain box yields deft argot. Word!

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Deputy features editor: Sunday Times

Imagine a world in which we had to pay for every word we used. If words were dear (there’s an expensive word for the old-fashioned among us) we might treat them with more care.

Some say words are cheap. If this were so, you could walk into a word store on sale day and join the frenzied crowd filling their baskets with armfuls of cut-price expressions. But then you might get home, turn your purchases out onto your bed and find all manner of unwanted items lurking in the pile.

There might be a heap of unnecessary profanities tangled up with the common verbs, and since most places won’t let you return goods bought on sale, you’d be stuck with them. Oh, bugger, you might say...

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