cromulent, a.
DOH! GIVE a guy a break! You'd have thought that "Virtual Springfield", a CD-ROM tour of the cartoon family the Simpsons' home town would offer relief from the rigours of keeping up a language column. But the installation manual throws a zinger all its own. Seymour Skinner, Principal of the town's school, says, "Listen carefully, children. There is a READ ME file on the CD which contains the latest cromulent information about getting Virtual Springfield up and running."

This excellent word is unknown to the rest of mankind, even Americans. Truth then dawns, with "Bart Simpson's Guide to Life", where he asserts that it's really cool to invent words when writing poetry - and the best of us cannot dispute that cromulent fact.