I’m easily smitten — not by people or places, but by words. It’s probably an upshot of the job, as thousands of the things pass across my desk or spring from my fingers spring from my fingers every day. But that means, whenever something noteworthy pops up — a particularly wild word or wayward phrase — it finds a special place in my heart. Travelling, I’ve found, yields the best of these discoveries, and a recent whistle-stop tour of Newfoundland proved to be a gold mine.
Take “chummy,” for example — the Newfoundlanders’ word for a whatsit or thingamajig. Or “sleiveen,” the locals’ term for a rascal or rapscallion. My favourite, however, sees an existing word repurposed: “romancing.” To the rest of us, romancing means to woo, court or, occasionally, to exaggerate. But, for every person from Saint Mary’s to Moores Harbour, it means to ramble and jabber on; to witter at exasperating, eye-rolling lengths about a subject — almost always to the annoyance of others.
Be that as it may, if you’ll allow me a bit of blathering myself, I’d love to introduce the November issue of SHARP. It’s a rip-roarer of a thing, well worth waffling on about, and stuffed to its spine with tidbits, tips, and trivia. Did you know, for example, that there’s a new type of barrel-aged, crystal clear tequila causing a stir in Canada? Or that BMW recently revealed a handsome, retro-flavoured sedan, one primed to lead the carmaker’s creative direction for decades to come? Or that, on Norway’s fjords, the future of fine dining is being sustainably served, dished up alongside beach crab bouillons and rockweed jus?
If not, then read on. For there are also people within these pages — from successful sports bettor Billy Walters to Andrew Shaw, the wine-worshipping hockey star who’s recently swapped his pucks for pinot. That’s not forgetting Offset, whose incisive cover interview touches on everything from his issues with fan culture to the merits of spontaneity. He remains clear and concise throughout, obviously not one for “romancing.” Come to think of it, he expresses little romance of any kind. “We don’t want to do that love song shit,” the rapper says on collaborating with his wife Cardi B.
Which, in a roundabout, rap-adjacent kind of way, brings me to my final bit of news. Because I’ve been doing some romancing of my own this past month — albeit of the more traditional variety. On a leafy, lake-y escape from Toronto, I proposed to my now-fiancée over our alfresco morning coffees. She is, as the Newfoundlanders would say, the “best kind,” and the whole one-knee hoopla has been a long and lovely time coming. The remarkable happiness I’ve been feeling in the weeks since my question-popping shows little sign of subsiding, so long may it last and here’s hoping some of my sky-high spirits have percolated — as strongly as those lakeside mugfuls — into these very pages. Enjoy the issue.
— Jonathan Wells, Managing Editor