Creativity

What has been happening to all those "n"s missing from misspelt millenniums? Pamela Dow brings us the disturbing news that they were borrowed by the No, No Scottish Referendum campaign and have now been stashed away on the Isle of Muck in the hope that their owners may thereby avoid parting with one point when the Scrabble Tax comes to fruition. Nigel Brown says that the Ns are being collected "to make an N-tree to facilitate our joining the EMU - which could even nest in it - if emus nest in trees".

Sian Cole wants to put an "n" in everyone's bag to help them go out with a bang. She also recommends adding them in pairs to "bokig". Norman Foster advises taking a pocketful of n's and Ns to Bonfire Night together with an empty bag. "Then when you need some excitement, drop an `n' into the bag to create a bang. Big Ns cause louder bangs. He warns, however, that placing more than one N in the bag is a capital offence.

Val Pargeter says: "'S obvious wha's 'appened to the li'l 'ns. innit? They've gone to lay eggs." She also suspects they may have been taken by students "studying for the nth degree". Mike White says the missing 'ens will come home to roost in the Millhenium Dome.

"Collecting `n's amuses hens, confined in pens, like specimens," rhymes Maguy Higgs. Duncan Bull says the missing "n"s have been liberated by Animal Welfare Activists.

Charles Ve'i'g writes to The I'depe'de't to accuse us of apparet igorace: "The missig letters i' the word millenium (lucky to get 1) are beig bulk- shipped to poor countries to make Nsmeat." Mollie Caird would rather use them to n-hance the n-vironment. Luela Palmer is clear about who is to blame: "A divinity hath misshaped our Ns, hewing them too roughly." She (and several others) doubt whether the Ns justify the means. Neil Hudson is worried that the Millennium Text Bomb will reset all letters to "a".

Bruce Birchall believes that the flea pole-vault referees have put the bars back on, turing Ns back into Hs. John and Fiona Earle point out that the use of an "n" in such plurals as oxen and brethren, liberates several "s"s for other duties. Harry Mackley blames the increasing use of buzz- words, which has led to a shortage of Zeds, only redeemable by rotating Ns and transplanting. "If the buzz becomes a humming," he says, "we'll be in trouble with Ws." Peter Thomas thinks that the Ns may have eloped in pairs and become Ms. He also points out that if you top up your N with gin, you get a car that drinks and drives itself. More usefully, he recommends their use as clips for fixing telephone cable. Steve Warner provides the culinary tip of using spare Ns to store kitchen knives, blades down. Judith Holmes uses "n"s as spikes to pick up fallen leaves. She glues large "n"s in her work box to store cotton reels. They make good emergency staples, too.

Geoffrey Langley thinks the "n"s are being used as miniature croquet hoops. James Campbell thinks the Ns are being used as supports for the roof of the Millennium Dome. He says there's a 10 per cent tax on all printed material for this purpose which is snatching one letter from the word "millennium".

Tony Deaking thinks the "n"s vanished because they were n-pecked. He blames social n-gineering. Doug Whetherly thinks the female ones have gone to n-parties, while the males become non-n-tities. Phil Worth points out that there are seven of them in "Nineteen ninety-nine". Susann Tomes says: "All these `n's floating about in a disorderly manner obviously constitute n-tropy." She thinks that hymns, autumn or perhaps the damn Government have been putting "n"s where they are not needed. Probably the Minister for the N-vironment, unless there are more than three of them, in which case it's the Four-N Office.

Prizes to Susan Tomes, Norman Foster and Nigel Brown. Next week, fog. Meanwhile, we seek things to do with a staple remover. Ideas to: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers Dictionary prizes for the best.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

    £65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

    Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

    £20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

    £8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

    £14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable