Creativity

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We are pleased to offer guidance this week on how to address a letter to a Creativity column. Judith Holmes says: "A column is an inanimate object, and as such cannot be addressed." If it were a column of ants, she admits that she would find it easier, but for the moment requires more details on its function and design. She suspects it is Ionian: "its smooth surface would represent the well-turned phrase, while the scroll work at the top could indicate the literacy of its contributors." She signs off "Yours supportively".

"!Hoglenti Freisgub!" is David Ridge's greeting (though we suspect that strictly speaking the first exclamation mark should be upside down in this particular expression), and he recommends signing off with the words "Sian Cole" on the grounds that they have proven consistently successful attention-grabbers in the past. His own letter, however, ends: "Print this at your peril".

"I am not Sian Cole, but please read this anyway," Peter Little begins in self-deprecating tones. In stark contrast, Sian Cole herself has submitted a wordless but seductively illustrated entry.

"Gratings!" says Maguy Higgs, who goes on to offer a selection of untried openings such as "Hail Teaser, we who are about to try salute thee." Her overall recommendation, however, is to start with "Hi" and end with "Bye".

Natasha Field starts with: "Darling, you are simply the best, the sexiest, the most adorable columnist in the whole wide world," and signs off with: "I am, Sir, at my wit's end."

Patsy Abraham says that if she had not been afraid of confusing the postman she would have addressed her letter to:

Creativity anada Square anary Wharf.

"so as not to waste all those Cs."

Phil Worth starts with "Dear Collector of Racy Epigrams, Artful and Titillating Inventions, Verbal Ingenuities and Terminological Yorkers," and signs: "Yours acronymically".

R.J. Pickles writes simply: "Dear God,

Re: Creativity. Your humble servant."

Doug Whetherly starts simply with the word "Earthling" and then, after a long detour to the end of the page, ends with "Yours, out of space."

Nicholas E Gough tells us helpfully that "Correct" and "Address" score 78 and 72 points respectively when played on the first move at Scrabble. He closes with "Yours optimistically", but the prizes nevertheless go to Judith Holmes (for architectural merit), Natasha Field (for accurate perception and excellent taste) and David Ridge (for hoglenti freisgub).

Next week, things to do with volcanoes. Meanwhile, we have, over the years, particularly at holiday times, occasionally received entries from those poor souls who have been unable to purchase a copy of The Independent and consequently do not know what the Creativity object is but still want to contribute ideas. So this week, we're asking for all-purpose ideas for things you can do with an unknown object. Suggestions to: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers Dictionary prizes for senders of those we like best.

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