5 questions with: John Hale

Photo: Christine O'Conner
Photo: Christine O'Conner
Dr John Hale is the ODT's WordWays columnist and an Honorary Fellow in the Department of English and Linguistics, University of Otago. 

What was the best birthday present you ever received, and why?

The day my first child was born. This is her birthday, not mine, but no gift beats a birth, safe and sound.

What smell do you find irresistible?

Can I have two smells, please? Creosote, from childhood memory of painting the fences every summer when on holiday. The sun always shone. Also, leek and potato soup when simmering.

What is your least favourite thing about humanity?

Cruelty, bullying, over-assertiveness, abuse of power.

What is one strong childhood memory?

The marvellous taste of tinned peaches, first encountered in a food parcel received from South Africa. I ate the whole tinful. I explained, that "They just slipped down''.

What is your message?

In view of my answer to Question 3, "Do as you would be done by'' (Matthew 7: 12). 

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