The Many Faces of Insanity, Emilie J., 8th grade, Birkerød, Denmark

We hear it every day. Mostly. We hear it at school, at home, in the TV, at the psychiatrist’s. The word “insane.” I don’t know any other word with so many entertaining synonyms. Some of the more inventive ones are “cuckoo” and “gaga.” Then we have “batty,” “loony,” “loopy” and “nutty,” even going as far as “yumpy,” definitely one of my favorites. Some are longer, more strange, like “having a screw loose,” “having lost your marbles,” “being mad as a hatter” or being a “space cadet” or “wacko.”

But I can honestly say with no doubt in my mind that “bonkers” is the best of them all. When you say it with a thick British accent, it somehow seems to sound like exactly what it describes. “Bonkers” is just so satisfying to say, and it’s definitely one of my favorite words of all time in English.

Thank you to my friends, to my English teacher Helle, and to Peeves and Vernon Dursley from Harry Potter for these examples. You really helped a lot, guys.

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