Friday 21 August 2015


I must ask Hiroko and Chika if there is
a Japanese equivalent of a plummy accent.
We covered puns yesterday - there was a Japanese one
to do with a futon which caused much hilarity.
I had to explain damp this morning as my resident
Japanologist had left the building.
I used my right hand to indicate wet and my left hand to indicate dry
some distance away
and then with a smart chopping movement 
half way between the two,
said Damp!.
It was deemed to be a useful addition to their vocabulary
so I was glad to have been of assistance.

Luckily they didn't ask me to explain moist.


  1. To me, moist is a small bit soggier than damp, but perhaps I am wrong. One would need to line up representative cakes to see.

  2. I concur. I think too that moist is more of a surface thing. Damp is evenly distributed through something.

  3. A moist cake is surely desirable, but a damp cake perhaps not.

    You have me pondering the difference between a plummy accent and a fruity one. How odd the English language is!

  4. Lucille, I have been smiling since I began looking at this post. The prior comments added to the fun.

    Somehow, I think that moist might describe a more recent occurence than would damp. Damp to me has got some history.

    I do have to say that using any sort of baking to look for examples of damp has made my smily a bit wonky. Please do tell me if I have mis-used wonky here.


  5. Perhaps if you just said m-o-i-s-t rather slowly while pulling a face .... ? It really is a ghastly word , I'm sure they can do without it .

  6. Oh I love this, the subtleties of our English language. How clever to have thought to explain damp like that, I think I would have been utterly stumped. But maybe you're a crossword person, or play charades?

    1. I used to do the Telegraph cryptic crossword with my dad. He gave me the anagrams and introduced me to the Etymological dictionary and so I have been fascinated by wordplay and derivations ever since. What a great favour this quiet man did for me.