Season XV11 – Alphaday 9

Hi Alphas,

Welcome to Alphaday 9, Season XVII. Here we are again, cooped up safely in our Alpha bubble where we can enjoy our creative adventures – until we need to take notice of the external world and its many dangers … and pleasures. It’s definitely therapeutic to focus on writerly activities, and this being an Alphaday we have plenty to look forward to. With everybody’s expert help we’ve put together another stimulating Alphaday agenda, as follows:

Alphaday 9, Season XVII Agenda:

  • This bulletin from me
  • The results and feedback for our Open Page 2nd ed. from Sarah
  • The collated entries for the Ballad challenge from Maria
  • The brief for Challenge 7 from Stephen
  • A call for Log entries from Phil
  • A writers’ Reads prompt from Ros

There’s enough to keep us occupied for quite a while and I, for one, am looking forward to all your input on the various topics.

General news. Is there any news that isn’t Covid-related? Of course there is, but it seems to fade into the background. The entire world must be vaccinated to wipe out this sweeping epidemic and that’s a complicated process.

Anyone with a smattering of the Latin-derived family of languages will wonder what the cow (Lat. Vacca) is doing in the word vaccination. Apparently the first vaccinations against the deadly disease of smallpox consisted in injecting people with the more benign disease of cowpox, making them immune to infection with smallpox. The cow got stuck in the word.

Then there’s inoculations; roughly the same thing. What’s the Lat. Word ‘oculus’ (eye) doing there? The original meaning of inoculation was a ‘graft’ as in gardening when you graft a new shoot onto an existing tree. A scion or side bud (the eye) is grafted onto the stem of another plant where it will grow – just as a vaccine will grow antibodies to the disease when grafted onto a person’s immune system.

Words are so much more interesting than the constant flood of statistics that we’re treated to daily. At least that’s my opinion; I love words and their whims.


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