The top ten: Trollemics
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at King's College, London, and at Queen Mary University of London. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Sunday 08 December 2013
A word created by merging troll and polemic by Stephen Tall, editor of 'Liberal Democrat Voice', who defined it as 'a deliberately over-the-top argument to generate controversy and make rational debate impossible'. Oddly, many of them seem to be published by one website…
1. Anything by Simon Jenkins. Nominated by Anthony Cox.
2. "It's no coincidence the MPs found guilty of fiddling are all Labour." Peter Oborne, Telegraph Blogs, 20 November
3. "From Alex Ferguson to Ed Miliband, Lefties always stab people in the back." Toby Young, Telegraph Blogs, 23 October
4. "America has every right to bug Angela Merkel's mobile phone. We need to keep an eye on the Germans." Con Coughlin, Telegraph Blogs, 24 October
5. "In defence of Russell Brand." Chris Dillow, Stumbling and Mumbling, 26 October.
6. "What's fuelling the food-bank frenzy? The hunger for publicity of anti-poverty activists." Brendan O'Neill, Telegraph Blogs, 18 October
7. "Does Jo Swinson hate women?" (Pregnant minister's aide said it was sexist to offer her a seat.) Christina Odone, Telegraph Blogs, 18 October
8. "The spirit of envy… is, like greed, a valuable spur to economic activity." Boris Johnson, in the annual Margaret Thatcher lecture, 27 November
9. "In Praise of the Ticket Tout." Editorial, The Independent, 23 June 1987
10. "Why the Tories are home and dry in 2015." John Rentoul, The Independent on Sunday, 27 October.
Next week: Words used with only one other word (serried, fledged and so on).
Coming soon: Palindromes. Was it a car or a cat I saw? Send suggestions (by 17 December), along with ideas for any future Top 10s, to email@example.com
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