The lavatory facilities at Trisha’s bar, that glorious survivor of old Soho, adorned with photos of Al Capone and the pope, bear a legend written at eye level: ‘USE AS URINAL ONLY. NO SITTING.’ Except someone – I believe they are known usually as a ‘wag’ – has inserted an H into the final word, rendering it an equally familiar (and, arguably, more appropriate) piece of Anglo-Saxon. Or ought that to be Proto-Indo-European? As John McWhorter informs us in Nine Nasty Words, the history of that graffitied verb (though, as he points out, it can also be a noun, an adjective, a pronoun and even ‘with a bit of adjustment’ an adverb) goes back to the word skei – used by steppe dwellers of yore and meaning ‘to cut off’. It really is fascinating, the things one can learn in a lavatory.