Season XVII – Alphaday 3

Hi Alphas,

Welcome to Alphaday 3, Season XVII. You’ll be pleased to know that we’ve now got all systems up and running and there’s no stopping the rollercoaster ride. We’ll try our best to keep up with the powerful momentum of Alphas throwing themselves into the full flow of writing, critiquing, discussing – and when you get to the end start over again. We do keep going; the reason being that we actually enjoy it.

Our Alphadays are like those ‘bring a plate’ parties. The fact that we’re rather good at creating exquisite treats makes Alphadays very special. We’ve all contributed our carefully crafted entries and our thoughtful feedback which has been collated and presented to you by the Alpha team. On top of that there are the extras and the resulting agenda for today is as follows:

Alphaday 3, Season XVII agenda:

  • This bulletin from me
  • The results of the ‘Wake-up’ challenge from Phil
  • The collated entries for the ‘First page’ challenge from Jackie
  • A Writers’ Reads prompt from Maria
  • A call for Log entries from Phil

All this will gradually trickle into your in-box in the course of the day and I think you’ll find plenty there to keep you occupied for a while and stimulate you into action. That’s what it’s all about and I hope you’ll find it both useful and enjoyable.

General news:

Forget Covid-19, climate change, Brexit and the US election. There are more important matters in this world. The words we use are an influential part of our lives and I like to keep an eye on the latest trends. (“Iconic” was a word I recently turned my attention to, as some of you may remember.)

In my idle moments I furtively scroll down a seemingly endless news page in search of something interesting. I discovered one phrase that recurred in all the news items about female celebrities appearing at public functions. Thus: “x wows in (garment)”.

“Wow!” is originally an exclamation of admiration, here used as a verb. The English language is brilliant at allowing words to switch from noun to verb to adjective. You sit at a table, you table a motion and your table manners leave much to be desired. These are excellent linguistic acrobatics and a trick that a huge number of words can perform with the greatest of ease.

Whatever the age of the female celebrity; whatever her strong views on the cause she was supporting – the phrase recurred: “she wows in (garment)”. (Is it an animal sound? Why don’t men wow?) It trivialises the event and the celebrity in an infuriating way … in my opinion.

Then suddenly the phrase disappeared. Had editors cottoned on to its damaging effect and banned it? Who knows? Henceforth the celebrities “looked stunning” in every article. But that takes up a lot more line space and something had to be done. Soon I found “x stuns (in garment)”. More economical, but what a word to use about a clothes peg celebrity at a time when the world protests about police violence and the excessive use of stun guns. I am stunned.


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