Wonderful and silly, words are a fun festive game

Wonderful and silly, words are a fun festive game

Yes. Go.

A and I.


Ten and net.

Vegetating and staycation.

Darling and uMhlabuyalingana.

Lira and Lidudumalingani Mqombothi.

Astronomer and moon starer.

KwaKhangelamankengane and Buckingham.


These will be some of my favourite things this festive season.

One-word sentences. The shortest words. Palindromes. Getting in touch with nature with a few litres worth of a petrol tank. Interesting names of places. Palaces. A big artist with a short name and who’s becoming a big star and running out of space to accommodate his name. Anagrams. Words with consonants.

The best part of all these things that are going to be a favourite part of my silly season is that they do not require power. I have a loadshedding-proofed festive season. But seriously. Is it not fascinating that “No” is a full sentence? And so is “Come”. Even more interesting is that “A” is the shortest word, competing for this accolade with “I”.

“A” only wins because, according to Google, it is a “monophthong, meaning that it consists of one vowel, while ‘I’ is a diphthong”.

Check out ten and net. I had to check what you call a name that you can pronounce forward and backwards. And there are many others that I found in Reader’s Digest Canada, such as level, mom, radar, madam, refer, rotator, repaper, deified, civic …

And while I’m at it, I thought I would ponder the exciting activities that I would be filling my time with. Isn’t it interesting that we talk about a couch potato and vegetating when we refer to activities that are best done in the sweet spot of either your couch, while binge watching on the programmes you’ve missed or watching the selection of familiar movies that repeated every festive season?

Some of the things that bring us joy and gratitude during this time is music, literature and TV programmes. The sweet voice of Lira brings cheer. Glad she is recovering after suffering a stroke earlier this year. Or the writing of Lidudumalingani. It is more fun to see it on TV as the credits roll. Fancy some anagrams to while away the time? I found this cool one on the net astronomer = moon starer.

King MisuZulu kaZwelithini will be hosting a boxing event at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban next Sunday and will be sitting ring side with boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather. Do you think he will invite him to KwaKhangelamankengane?

I would give 25 000 seconds of loadshedding on Xmas Day to hear Mayweather pronounce KwaKhangelamankengane. I mean, King Charles tried and did a stellar job at Buckingham Palace greeting “President Ramafosa” in five South African languages.

Hell, I’ll even try to meditate on words with no vowels – anything to get my mind off ZAR.

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