Posted in Editing

Spelt Exactly How it Says on the Tin

The bathroom door was squeaking. The fact that I could hear it probably means the whole street has been annoyed by it for weeks. I realized it should be left till next morning – when oiling hinges you should make sure the place is well ventilated. Going to sleep surrounded by a spreading mist of WD-40 is probably not too bright. Yet there stood the door, squeaking at me. It would squeak if I got up in the middle of the night. It would squeak when I got up in the morning. When I finally went to bed, therefore, it was to the soothing aroma of WD-40.

Speaking of WD-40, I mentioned it a few days ago in this post. You’ll notice the hyphen is in use there as well as here. Later, when I was reading other blogs, I noticed a post by someone who wrote about WD40. No hyphen. I panicked. Which of us was right?

Off I trundled to check my can in the cupboard. No Googling for this information. The popular vote has been wrong before, and there’s no better source than the actual product. There, I could just about see the top of it, peeping over the Tupperware tub. Holding my breath, I drew it out. “Ahh – it’s WD-40. I’m right!” There’s a short list of suggested uses on the side of the tin, headed by ‘stops squeaks’. It wasn’t working in this case, as I was squeaking excitedly and doing a little dance.

Sad, I know, but for nearly 20 years it has been my job to pay attention to these details. It’s impossible to switch off my niggle radar – my whole life is a kind of busman’s holiday. I just know if they put me in a reality show to swop lives with someone else, they would be forcing me to write ‘WD40’ without hyphens. “You must learn to loosen up. It’s good for you,” they would say. Then they would catch me red-handed, in the middle of the night, correcting my blog by flashlight.



I live in the UK with two cats -- Samson and Delilah.

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