My name is Alyson Reay and I am a wordaholic…

I love the written word, I love the spoken word, I just love words so much it must be an addiction – in the social, rather than medical sense.

I truly admire people who are skilled wordsmiths. How wonderful must it be to earn your living putting those words into the right order not just to communicate a message, but to convey an emotion, to persuade and to inform?

But I have a guilty pleasure. Above all, I love the misuse of words. It really appeals to my sense of humour when people (myself included) get words wrong, or get the words right, but in the wrong context… I am sure you know what I mean.

Malapropisms, misplaced homonyms and heterographs, I’m not fussy, they all work for me when it comes to raising a smile, or even a jolly good giggle.

I have still not stopped chuckling to myself whenever I remember the lovely message card that came with a gift of a great bottle of wine recently. It read “for you both to enjoy one barmy summer’s evening”. Long after I have forgotten the taste of this treat I am still amused at the thought that my neighbour may know how crazy it sometimes gets in the Reay household.

Of course some of these funnies come from the mouths of babes, and I am sure many of you will have heard a toddler’s rendition of Mary had a little lamb, whose ‘fleas ‘ were white as snow. I am equally sure you will know someone who hasn’t grown out of it yet and whose charming word muddling is an endearing part of their character.

So, it is not surprising that I have found @WordNerdSally on Twitter and regularly indulge my addiction with her Word of the day #WOTD. Today the word was ‘Malapropism’, and Sally provided a fine example, to which I responded with a homonym, or was it a homophone?

Self-indulgent? Quite possibly, but it just amuses me. Words are fun!

Personally, I don’t think it is something that we need to get too hung up about as I think expressing ourselves in our authentic voice is generally much more important than accurate grammar. But there are times when it is important to get it right. It is a long time since my school days and many of the linguistic rules are long forgotten. So for those important communications, it is copywriters like Sally who are there to keep us on the straight and narrow.

If like me, you share Sally’s love of words I am sure you will find her a good ‘Follow’.