Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Word Game

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Word Game

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Cuffe

THE English language is a beautiful thing. As Shakespeare put it, "tis a belter". And whom am I to argue with The Bard? So many words and that. Oscar Wilde methinks. Which is why I feel so sorry for footballers. Only knowing around 20 words. Excluding swear words of course. They know all of those. They were taught them at Footie School. Daily tuition in Swearing and Spitting, weekly sessions on Kissing The Badge and they're sorted.

So many wonderful words. And so many horrible words. Spleen is a word I'd be happy never to hear or even read. This is where the footballers do score, as they are clinically unable to read.

Last week I saw two words which went together beautifully. The perfect team. The Morecambe and Wise of the words world. Not the Mike and Bernie Winters words, such as Critical Illness. Or Brussels Sprouts. Or Craig Bellamy.

No, my words were individually worthy, but paired up, a thing of beauty. I was, unsurprisingly, in a restaurant. We have them in Teesside, you know. Tell Channel 4 that. I was looking at the menu when the words hit me like a beautiful smack in the chops.

Chunky chips. Absolutely wonderful. I give you chips. From the Greek word Chippi. The God of Courage.

Now of course, the word has a more potato-based resonance. More crisp than valour. Chips. The comforting, reassurance that is a chip.

The North-East has been open for chips since time immemorial. But now, they've beaten it. With the Chunky Chip. The king of chips.

The Henry VIII of the fries kingdom. Obviously I ordered aforesaid chunky chips. And were they chunky? Not arf, chip pickers. They lived up to their name, and no mistake.

Interestingly, on the same menu was the Yang to the Chunky Chip Ying. The Bernie Winter. The double disappointment.

It was Vegetarian Option. Obviously I passed on that one. …

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