Tuesday 29 September 1998
Euphemisms for the new millennium seem, predictably enough, to revolve around politics, footie and showbiz. Chris Lee's "Flatulence" for "an excessive display of dancing, especially Irish" was especially popular in this office. He also suggests that "having your bottom Feltz" should describe drastic liposuction, which ties in nicely with Duncan Bull's simple but comely "Vanessa" for a wide-screen TV. The normal machine is, naturally, a Vorderman.
Len Clarke delves the murky world of media with "Cigar: something 6in long which covers 30 million acres of newsprint". A Monica, according to Michael Gifford, is a naive young woman who swallows anything her boss puts forward, and a Clinton 3-star an apology that becomes increasingly insincere as your situation becomes more precarious. An Archer, according to Paul Turner, is the constant repetition of a single plot (as relevant to politics as to literature), Clarksonitis, a virulent affliction often detected in small boys, and a Heath, one who mistakes old age for wisdom (cf, on the American speaking circuit, Thatcher). Norman Foster, meanwhile, suggests Dome (to sink large amounts of money into useless projects), Mandy (to interfere, control) and Mandate (the time when that interference started, presumably some time in May last year).
Most references to Paul Gascoigne have been eliminated, as they are hardly modern. The exception is Bruce Birchall's wonderful "Sheryl in Peril": a woman who stays with a man who uses her as a punchbag. He wins a dictionary for that, and for "Massage Parlour", a government statistics department dealing with the unemployment figures, as do Chris Lee and Michael Gifford.
This week: The Lottery Show had been thought to have plumbed unfathomable depths, but Saturdays have attained a new low with the launch of Cilla Black's new game show, The Moment of Truth, in which families compete for white goods by mastering skills such as handbell-ringing and building houses of cards. Formats, please, for more prime-time gameshows, including some if not all of theme, rules (if any), props and sets (remember: maximum advertising appeal with minimum budget spend is essential), necessary contestant traits and suggestions for a host to front the whole shebang.
Write to Creativity, The Independent, Features, 18th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. The top two, or three, depending on whether anyone has won one for suggesting the week's theme, will win a copy of the Chambers Dictionary. Results two weeks from today.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga