Euphemisms to go offline for

Euphemisms are words we use in place of words that make us uncomfortable. Comfort words, according to author Ralph Keyes, who wrote Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms.

He was asked by Time.com of his favourites: "I love European lifestyle for sleeping around. I love at peace with the floor for being drunk. I like go offline for die. A high-school classmate wrote me that somebody he knew used to work for a life-insurance company and when it came time to pay benefits on a policy, they would say the policy holder was postretirement.

"Some of them are very creative. In the whole field of what we'd call bathrooms, the words change: I love where the Queen goes alone ... Winston Churchill was asked what kind of meat he would like at a dinner party, and he said 'I would like some breast, please'. A woman said to him, 'We don't talk that way here.' He said, 'But what would you call it?' And she said, 'White meat.' So the next day he sent her a corsage with a card saying, 'Pin this on your white meat.'"

Favourite song slain by Mondegreen

Vickie Holland of Kawerau writes: "Recently, a radio station played their entire music collection alphabetically by song title. During "N" Moody Blues came on, one of my favourites — but I was really confused why Knights in White Satin was playing during the letter. To my horror, I realised that my vision of knights on horses, with white satin flowing from their armour (that I had held for over 50 years) was entirely wrong. I am still reeling and trying to reset my memory. Nights in White Satin just doesn't seem to cut it."

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UFO flies from the Galaxie

Garry was wondering if any readers saw an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) some time on Sunday afternoon March 31, between Whangamata and Papakura. "Bright and shiny, and flying at very low altitudes, it was actually a hubcap from a 1964 Ford Galaxie lost on the way back from the Beach Hop." Email Sideswipe if you have any information.

Thousands of Sideswipes

It's 17 years today that the very first Sideswipe column was published in the Herald. Every weekday, except Good Friday and Christmas Day, so that's approximately 4400 columns. Thank you to all who have sent in contributions over the years. I think I need a lie down.

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz