Memories · Word of the week

Word of the week: busy

Windows 10 is taking up more of my time, at home and at work, than when I wrote about it in this piece. Microsoft tell us that this is the last-numbered version of the operating system. There will be no Windows 11. The word that I use most often to describe this new version is “busy”. It’s always doing something, far more than its predecessors did. Now that my Windows 7 netbook no longer prompts me to upgrade (as also recorded in that earlier piece about Windows 10) it has settled down to its familiar, not-so-busy day-to-day habits. By contrast, the Windows 10 laptop that I bought in the spring always has something to say for itself. It is very busy.

This page on offers a number of definitions of busy. Among them are “actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime”, “not at leisure; otherwise engaged” and “officious, meddlesome, prying”. Let’s hope that Windows 10 is busy because it’s “actively and attentively engaged in work” rather than “officious, meddlesome, prying”. It does, however, seem to be “otherwise engaged” rather more often than Windows 7. Does it really need to update quite so often?

There is a school of thought that software (and I’m mentioning no names here) is sometime released before it is fully ready, and that the last phase of testing is by the millions of early adopters who go out and buy it, or in some cases upgrade for free. I couldn’t possibly comment, but I can recall when I first learnt how the word “busy” is spelt. It’s recorded in my book “1000 Memories”, which is available as a Kindle book here (UK) or here (US). And, for ease of reference here is that memory, from when I was six.

“1000 Memories”: B-U-S-Y

I wanted to ask Miss Booker something. She was standing beside the sink in the corner of Class 3.

“Miss, I – ”

“Sean, sit down, I’m – ”, and I couldn’t hear the next word.

“But Miss, I – ”

“Sean, sit down, can’t you see –”, and I still couldn’t hear what she said next.

“Miss –”

“Sean, sit down, I’m B-U-S-Y.” She spelt it out.

I didn’t know what that meant. I went back to my desk, saying the word quietly to myself. “Bussy?” What did bussy mean?

I sat down and then I realized. “Oh, bizzy. That’s how you spell it.”



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