In this Issue
Letters to the Editor
Write to Us
Spread the Word
Tips for the CD-ROM
New word of the month
Christmas is just around the corner and many of us will be heavily ensconced in Christmas shopping, but for those of us who aren't self-confessed shopaholics or who are desperately trying to find something new for the person who has everything, what if the solution was free of expenditure and already sitting in your bottom drawer? On the other hand, have you ever opened a present and felt that its contents look strangely familiar?
This month's new word highlights those dilemmas of gift-giving
'How many soaps and candles can a person use in her lifetime?'
The verb has spawned various derivatives, which include a participle adjective regifted as in, eg: 'a regifted label maker' and the following nouns:
Regift is of course a synthesis of the verb homograph gift ('to give something as a gift') and prefix re- meaning 'again'. It was actually first used in the mid-nineties by the American comedian Jerry Seinfeld. In a 1995 TV show, Superbowl tickets and a label maker were 'regifted' and the episode took a light-hearted look at the mistakes people make while trying to conceal the fact that something is a 'regift'. The word's negative overtones lie in its association with deception, by regifting you not only deceive the recipient, but also the person who originally gave you the gift by not being honest about the fact that you don't need or want it. Proponents argue that regifting is an acceptable practice if you think carefully about whether the recipient would really enjoy the regift before you give it, believing that such a gift would be more meaningful than a hastily purchased bottle of wine or bunch of flowers.
Now, be honest, will you be parcelling up any regifts or indulging in a spot of regifting this Christmas? Or are you indeed already a hardened regifter who has regifted unwanted presents before?