Season XVI – Alphaday 7

Hi Alphas,

Welcome to Alphaday 7, Season XVI: the first Alphaday of 2020. We’re now in the 3rd week of the 3rd decade of the 3rd millennium and I hope this auspicious convergence of the lucky number 3 will bring fulfilment of your hopes for the future on all levels.

We’re picking up the Alpha threads after our mid-season break, and – with renewed energy (yes?) – preparing to re-immerse ourselves in all things writerly. With that in view, the Alpha team has been busy lining up a mouth-watering agenda crammed full of the goodies we all enjoy. As follows:

Alphaday 7, Season XVI agenda:

  • This bulletin from me
  • The results of the 100th birthday diary challenge from Martin
  • The collated entries for the pantomime challenge from Maria
  • A call for entries to the 2nd edition of the Open Page from Elke
  • A call for contributions to the next Alpha Log from Phil
  • A Writers’ Reads prompt from Genya

That looks like an excellent assortment to me, and thank-yous are due to all those who helped prepare it. That includes every one of you, of course, as challenge entries and feedback are fundamental to our agenda.

The Alpha Group has entered the new decade with amazing ease – as if there was nothing to it. We enjoy the stability of the group where everyone knows what they can give and what they can get by taking part. The best of all possible worlds … if you like.


Out there – in the big world – it’s a different story. There are so many big issues to tackle. This is obvious wherever you look – even in our writers’ tools, i.e. words. To illustrate this I’ve been looking at ‘The word of the year 2019’ as chosen by experts.

The one that’s flagged up everywhere was nominated by the much esteemed Merriam Webster Dictionary. Now that’s American, you may object. Yes, but in the English-speaking (or Anglophone) world it represents a much larger population than the tiny minority of English-speakers in Great Britain. That’s a fact. Besides, their choice of ‘Word of the year’ is the pronoun ‘they’ used as a singular pronoun when referring to a non gender-specific subject. This is something I’ve mentioned, as you may remember. It also draws attention to the world-wide issues related to gender equality in all contexts.

In Great Britain my favourite is the Oxford Dictionary – having two of them on the shelf right in front of me (Concise and Etymology). Their ‘word of the year’ is ‘climate emergency’ which replaced ‘climate change’ – a shift that speaks volumes, the way I see it. Runners-up were ‘flight shame’ and ‘plant-based’. If there’s a trend in all this, I think it’s a commendable one. Communication and awareness of the main issues around us can only point in the right direction. Words can shape the world.


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