Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Words: workaround, n.

THE GOVERNMENT pamphlet "What Everyone Should Know About the Millennium Bug" is so insouciant about the bug that it is more concerned to point out "if you've not yet decided what to do on millennium night, you might consider organising your own party."

It does not suggest that if, come midnight, the lights flash and the fridge broadcasts Phil Collins, then somebody may have laced the punch, but to give only a page to the international effect recalls the fatuous advice in "Protect and Survive" to hide under the kitchen table. When emerging to watch the video, one should go the whole retro hog of setting it to 1972 as a workaround. This term, from computing, is only in the Concise Oxford and means improvisation - or bodge.