Now that the lurgy has gone, I have resumed my walks. The graffiti has not yet been removed, but instead more has been added. Everyone is still much faster than I am. They all have earplugs in use. I tried my iPod, but my earphones won't stay in the ear, nor do I get sound in both ears. This is irritating and unsatisfactory, and makes me feel perturbed and dissatisfied with my physiology. How does it happen that my ears won't accept earphones? What sort of fundamental injustice is at work here? Evidently I must go out and find a shop, choose and buy something, try it out, and hope that the damn things will work.
I looked up the word lurgy. It was not in any of my dictionaries. So I resorted to looking it up on line.
The ABC's Word Watch lists it:
Presented by Kel Richards
As my colleagues are coming down with colds and sniffles, someone said to me that they had “the dreaded lurgy” – so I thought it was time I looked up this expression.“On this week’s Goon Show poor Arnold Fringe is suddenly stricken with the dreaded lurgy”The “dreaded lurgy” (so say the dictionaries) refers to a fictitious and highly infectious disease, apparently invented and made into a byword by that radio classic: the Goon Show. The earliest citation in The Oxford English Dictionary is from 1954. It’s a quote from Radio Times to the effect that: “On this week’s Goon Show poor Arnold Fringe is suddenly stricken with the dreaded lurgy”. However, there’s a possibility that this word was not coined by Spike Milligan (and his associates in lunacy). It appears that there was an expression “fever-lurgy” which was a British dialectical variation on a more common expression “fever-lurden” (recorded from the 16th century and meaning “the disease of laziness”). And with “lurgy” as a dialect word research reaches a dead end.
It is a word in very common parlance here. But I hope not to have to apply it to myself for quite a while.