I’ve often mentioned that my handwriting is pretty appalling, though I do try my best to be legible. Of course, if I’m hurriedly scribbling a note to others or myself on occasion it’s completely unintelligible. In advice to writers there’s always the mention of the writer’s notebook, and whenever I hear that phrase, or see it, my heart sinks a little, because I know that notebooks are for the most part a frustrating item for me. The number of times I’ve jotted down something I’ve seen or overheard, some idea which has come to me, and the almost equal number of times what I’ve written is of little use because some or all of it is indecipherable. I do now try to note things on my phone, and to some extent that has worked, particularly when there is a little time to correct typos or spellchecks ‘helpful’ suggestions. I have flat thumbs so I do make a lot of errors, family and friends are used to interpreting what I say, and laughing at what I’ve actually messaged rather than what I intended to message. I also jot things here, ideas for blogs for example, and leave my jottings in drafts.
This has been quite helpful but even so, on occasion I mystify myself. I saved a note here, on a draft doc, ‘ broaticute, slanners’ Now what could that possibly mean? I started off by googling broaticute and there was nothing except a suggestion I might have meant something else – which I definitely did not, not not mean!! Supposing I had made a spelling error – there was no telling which letter or letters might be wrong so I looked on an anagram site and had no luck for all the letters, but boracite, brattice, obturate, tabouret, toreutic and urticate as eight letter words. I don’t know what any of them mean so I’m sure I didn’t mean to write any of them
- Boracite is a magnesium borate mineral
- A brattice is a partition used in mining
- obturate – block up, obstruct
- tabouret – a low stool or small table
- toreutic(s) – the art of making designs in relief or intaglio, especially by chasing, carving, and embossing in metal
- urticate – to cause a stinging or prickling sensation like that given by a nettle
Now I look at the definitions, tabouret is familiar, and I should have known urticate because I used it in one of my novels. However, I don’t think any of them could be mistaken for broaticute.
Slanners, what about slanners? Does that mean anything? Plural of slanner? One who slans? I couldn’t find it anywhere but came across the place, Lanner which is Cornwall, and you would pass it on the way from Redruth to Falmouth. The inhabitants of Lanner might be Lanners, but not Slanners. Wikipedia tells me:
The name “Lanner” comes from the Cornish “Lannergh“, which means “a clearing”. The village is a former tin and copper mining parish which grew rapidly in the 19th century, but has been recorded as far back as 1542, and with settlement traces back to the Bronze Age. Michael Loam erected his first man engine at Tresavean mine, Lanner, in 1842. The mine was, in its heyday, one of the most productive copper mines in Cornwall… the west end is known as Lanner Hill and the east end as Lanner Moor.
I am left wondering what on earth I might have meant by broaticute and slanners, and I conclude these gibberish words must have been a result of a monumental misspelling of something and they just appealed to me.