When I was growing up, a chap who had a rich vocabulary (especially in English) was said to have swallowed a dictionary. It was sometimes said in derision but mostly in reverent tones: "Eyi, you can’t touch that one. He swallowed a dictionary!" In my teens I was often regarded as a dictionary-swallower. In a rough neighbourhood, this was useful. The tough guys who could barely spell their names were skirt chasers. And girls, as we know, love beautiful words. So the thugs turned to the dictionary-swallowers for help with words. And we were happy to oblige, producing bombastic letters in English, the preferred language of courting. Broken English. Terrible English. To this day, township Romeos lapse into English when they "pleat" girls. (They have now made it even worse by using terrible twangy pseudo-American accents.) At any rate, as a ghostwriter, I would generally open with the salutation: "I’m still inhaling and exhaling in this globosity. The closer I get to you (hopefully one d...

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