juste a mot William Hartston

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Indy Lifestyle Online
An occasional series about new words, compiled in conjunction with Chambers Dictionaries

Blackmailophobia and cycle rage may overcome anyone who has been faxnapped. While we have not as yet heard any reports of people being knocked off their bicycles, having their Filofaxes stolen, and subsequently being blackmailed for their return, it is, to judge by the words currently speeding around Chambers "Wordtrack" database, only a matter of time.

The sense of lossness engendered by a missing Filofax - of faxlessness, if you like - renders every owner a potential victim of ruthless criminals with cyclepathic tendencies. In these troubled car-jacking days, is even quad biking safe?

Glossary:

blackmailophobia: fear of being blackmailed - spotted in Private Eye in March 1995.

car-jacking: first sighted in the Independent in 1992 in a report of a crime in Florida in which men in a pick-up truck rammed another vehicle and shot its passengers.

cycle rage: road rage, first named in 1993, has established itself in the language (it is already to be found in the most recent dictionaries) and led to a stream of imitations. Trolley rage in supermarkets is the most common, but golf rage (leading to fights on the fairways) is catching up. Earl Grey rage around tea trollies has also been suggested as an office hazard to watch out for. Cycle rage makes its first appearance here.

cyclepathic tendencies: Cycle psychosis has recently been spotted in the Independent, defined as "the pedal equivalent of road rage". We feel it is an inevitable consequence of the cyclepathic tendencies of some local councils - the unrestrained designation of cycle paths.

faxnapping: First spotted in 1991, and listed in the Oxford Dictionary of New Words of that year, it is defined as: "to steal a Filofax in order to demand a ransom for its return".

lossness: one of the many words ending in "-ness" queueing for space in dictionaries. Doneness, okayness and manyness are others that will probably not make it.

quad biking: We think this is the name for driving around on those things with four huge balloon wheels.

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