Can I just say how much I enjoyed this whole thread? Reading it in a single sitting was simply marvellous. The bit I loved best was
Mary McCarthy and Lillian Hellman (since I now know you’re a Brit, let me just say that the two women were American literary figures)
which, if truly said with naive lack of awareness, was just stunning, and even as deliberate trollery was particularly fine. But while the soloist’s contribution was, of course, essential, none of it would have worked without the ensemble playing of the Wordorigins orchestra, each member giving of his or her very best. You were as polite as possible, you were informative you were amusing, you were forceful. Thank you. Thank you all.