This year I think we had a record number of entries for the sayings competition so it has taken some time to go through all the entries and judge them. As usual there were a number of great minds thinking alike so for instance we had a large number of entries using the letter G to spell “gin“ or the letter H to spell “Hogmanay“.  Probably the phrase that came up most was “sense of humour“ and indeed one of the winning entries used it.

The first competition was for the most inventive or ridiculous saying. There were quite a few entries which read like perfectly sensible and convincing sentences and in that sense were “inventive“ and there were certainly plenty of slightly surreal compositions that were “ridiculous”. The prize goes to the saying:

  Apprentices might never truly get Alan Sugar‘s sense of humour.

The second competition was for the saying most like a proverb. Here there’s no requirement for the winning entry to be particularly amusing, but a bit of humour obviously helps, so the prize for this one went to the saying:

All men new to gardening are suddenly “specialists on horticulture”.

As usual there were quite a few entries on a topical theme, referring to the troubles of Boris Johnson or the Duke of York. I don’t take part in the judging of the entries, as I know who they’re from, but I think the judges would say that it’s good to receive topical entries; however the fact that they’re topical doesn’t make them any more or any less likely to win a prize.

Only one of the shortlisted entries was in verse. Usually there are several. Well done to any who take on the additional task of not only composing a sentence out of an unfriendly selection of letters but also getting it to rhyme.

This year, I think for the first time, we received an entry in German. The couple who sent it are not German, and it was a clever way of using the letters because in German you can often put two words together and only use up one letter of your given allocation.  I’m sure it deserves a “highly commended“ but I think we may have to insist next year that all entries are in English!

Thank you to all who took part. I think the letters were more difficult this year than last year so it is pleasing that so many people took up the challenge to make something of them.