Monday, 17 September 2012
Posted by M.H. Forsyth
I'm flying to South Africa tomorrow to take part in the Open Book Festival. This involved numerous bits of paperwork and e-tickets and the like, none of which, to my vast misery, contained the word waftage.
Waftage was originally transportation by boat, specifically of course by a sailboat which is wafted by the wind across the alliterative water. But it also therefore means anything that can travel through the air and was being applied to witches and their broomsticks from the mid seventeenth century. A journalist of 1834 describing insects wrote:
Forest flies, ephemerals all like ourselves—but happier far in their airy waftage or watery voyaging, than the vain race of man!
And that's roughly the style in which all airlines' websites should be written.
Anyway, if any readers are in Cape Town for the next few days, here's a link to the events I'll be doing.