I've been getting comments from members of Lily's contacts list about her emails, which go something like this:
Hi, how r u?
Love Lily x
To add insult to injury, these communiques are not even personalised; they are sent out to one and all, with the addresses on display in the 'To' line. Uncle Dan, Club Penguin, Godmother Franny, Godmother Rose and random friends. (Her mother is never included.)
In the car, going home for half-term, after hearing about the pop lacrosse near-triumph (they lost 9-15, but Lily always sees the positive side) and a few funny dorm stories (their matron says there's an invisible Wall of Smell between one half of the dorm and the other - I'm pleased to discover Lily is on the Side of Sweet Perfume and not Stench), I broach the email question.
'Now, darling, have you heard of netiquette?'
She looks blank.
'Have you heard of etiquette?'
'Nope. But I've heard of Connecticut. It's in Madagascar.'
'In the film, it's where Marty wants to get back to.'
There's a silence while I consider whether it's worth tackling the importance of the bcc at this juncture. I decide that, as ever, I would only be wasting my breath.
'Do you remember I told you Mattie has a pet scorpion called Fluffy?' asks Lily. 'It just died and they had it...'
'...cremated,' I offer.
'Nowuh! What do you call it when you keep it and have it...'
'Nowuh! when you put stuff on it and it keeps it for ever.'
'Nooooo! It begins with muh... muh....'
'Nowuh! Varnished. That's what they did. They varnished it and put it in a translucent box with foam on the bottom and foam on the top, to cover Fluffy.'