The Anonymous Widower

Was The Name Omicron For This Variant Of The Covids Chosen Deliberately?

We are trained to respond to single-word commands as are our pets and other animals. But then some animals and especially birds have alarm calls, when one sees danger.

Before omicron, we’ve had alpha, beta, gamma and delta variants of Covid-19, so surely, if they were following the Greek alphabet, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa, lambda, mu, nu and xi all should have had precedence.


  • Perhaps zeta, eta and theta could get misheard when spoken.
  • iota might be difficult for some to pronounce.
  • mu and nu could be mistyped.
  • xi risks confusion with the Chinese leader.
  • omicron could stand out like a bird’s alarm call.

Omicron is also a word, you don’t hear often in normal conversation unlike some Greek letters.

Could it have been chosen as it is a word that will be picked out in conversation and those that hear it will be nudged towards covid-correct behaviour like wearing a mask or keeping, keeping apart or remembering to get a booster jab.

If people constantly say booster, covid and omicron in the same sentence would it nudge people to do the right thing?

It probably would work unless omicron meas something different in the local language.

December 11, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , | 4 Comments

Will Some Word Processing Software Object To Someone Typing Battersea Power Station Station?

It is quite likely, that someone will need to type “Battersea Power Station Station” into a document.

I’ve just tried to type it into Word and it objects!

September 19, 2021 Posted by | Computing, Transport/Travel | , | 2 Comments

The End Of The Beginning

At 16:08 on the 9th of November 2020, I sent this text message to the BBC.

Churchill would have dubbed Pfizer’s news the End of the Beginning in the War against the Covids!

Then at 17:00 Boris used the same phrase in his Press Conference.

Wikipedia says this about Churchill’s use of the phrase.

A quotation from a 1942 speech by Winston Churchill concerning the Second Battle of El Alamein.

The Second Battle of El Alamein was fought between the 23rd of October and the 11th of November 1942. So exactly, seventy-eight years ago, the battle was coming to a close.

As a biographer of Churchill, did Boris spot the historical link?

Let’s hope Boris, Macron, Biden, Merkel, Trudeau et al, get the chance to paraphrase another of Churchill’s quotes about the very different battle.

It may almost be said, “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat”

Let’s hope Pfizer’s vaccine is our generation’s Alamein and marks the turning point in the War against the Covids.

Certainly, the news has been well-received by experts, including Jeremy Farrar of the Welcome Trust, who was being interviewed by the BBC, when the news broke.

I am 73 and my parents told me how Alamein and other news like it, stiffened the sinews and summoned up the blood in the dark days of World War II!

November 10, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun With COVID-19

I find the term COVID-19 rather bland and you may have noticed that on this blog, I am tending to call it the Covids.

I feel, that the Covids has a certain edge to it. A superhero might kick someone in the Covids.

It also offers possibilities for creating a long name based on the letters.

How about Chinese Orrible Vaccine Impossible Death Syndrome?

I’m sure someone can do much better than that!

September 27, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | 1 Comment

Manchester Metrolink Extensions In A Sentence

This article on the Manchester Evening News, sums up the extensions to the Manchester Metrolink like this.

It includes tram extensions to Port Salford, Middleton and Stalybridge, plus ‘tram trains’ to Hale, Warrington, Gorton and Glossop.

We all need more pithy sentences like this. Me included!

July 29, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , | 5 Comments


A BBC Breakfast reporter used this word and started a lot of discussion this morning.

So I typed it in to Google.

I found this page with a title of Fritinancy.

This was given as an example of use of the word.

Mr. Obama has shown, in one appearance after another, a capacity to make people feel good about their country again. His supporters want desperately to turn the page on the bitter politics and serial disasters of the past 20 years. That they have gravitated to a black candidate to carry out this task is — to use a term I heard for the first time this week — monumentous.

So it has been used before.

April 30, 2019 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment

What Do You Call This?

I bought this rack for hot dishes just out of the oven from IKEA.

What do you call it?

IKEA call it a trivet, which is defined thus.

A metal stand with short feet, used under a hot dish on a table.

IKEA either can’t count as it has four legs, or they have done a great job in a redesign.

July 12, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

I’ll Go Along With This Quote

With a memorial service for Sir Nicholas Winton today, I make no apologies for publishing one of his quotes.

I believe in ethics, and if everybody believed in ethics we’d have no problems at all. That’s the only way out; forget the religious side.

I doubt I can live long enough to see religion, become something you read about in history books.

But the world would be a better place, if everyone followed Sir Nicholas’s advice.

May 19, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Fasciitis In My Foot

I have got fasciitis in my right foot. It has nothing to do with my current conditions, as I have had it at odd times over my lifetime.

The last time was probably about twelve or fifteen years ago and it was a lot worse than my current bout.

A chiropodist and my doctor have both recommended rolling a cold drinks can with my foot.

I keep the tin in the fridge. Incidentally, I chose the tomatoes as it is more robust than say a can of Coke.

Doing it on a carpet is easier too!

Let’s hope it all works!

Incidentally, are there any other words with a double-i in the middle? You have a few plurals like radii with the letters at the end.

Sounds like a Pointless question to me!

November 26, 2015 Posted by | Health | , | 4 Comments

Keep This Door Closed

I like this witty sign.

Shut Happens

Shut Happens

It was in a cafe at Willesden Junction station.

October 13, 2015 Posted by | World | | 1 Comment