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.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Jeremy Clarkson to host BBC's Have I Got News For You despite Top Gear exit
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'