Snub. Even the word sounds like being thumped in the face. But if you find yourself the recipient of such a social blow, you're in good company: former PMs and dictators, rock stars and comedians have all been left, metaphorically, with their noses pressed against the window. Now, the true star of the multi-award-winning film The Artist – Uggie the Dog – is chewing over the bitterness of being Not Invited to the Oscars.
The Weinstein Company, the film's producer, made no bones about his NI status, saying Uggie, a recipient of the Palm Dog Award, "has not been asked to participate or appear".
He's not alone. Russell Brand suffered a similar fate last month at the People's Choice Awards. His divorce from Katy Perry proved a ceremony organiser's nightmare, and Brand was shifted to the ranks of the uninvited. The organisers needn't have bothered: Perry dropped out days later, though she won five awards.
Nicolas Chartier, a producer of The Hurt Locker, had his invite to last year's Oscars revoked after sending an ill-judged email pleading for votes for his movie and "not a $500m film", alluding to Avatar. He consoled himself with a mock-Oscars in Malibu.
Members of the raucous rock band Kiss found themselves disinvited from the Michael Forever tribute concert in Cardiff. Gene Simmons had irked the Jacksons with his comment on the dead singer: "There's no question in my mind he molested those kids." Jackson was cleared of child molestation charges in 2005.
The Olympic Games have offered prime opportunities for diplomatic snubs. Muhammad Gaddafi, the former head of Libya's Olympic Committee, was banned from London's Games before the collapse of his father's regime. And in 2008, Robert Mugabe got as far as Hong Kong for the Beijing Games, but was turned away to avoid embarrassment to China.
But though Mugabe was invited to Pope John Paul II's beatification, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman was bounced off the invite list from the Catholic St Francis University in Pennsylvania last October for her pro-choice views. The BNP leader, Nick Griffin, voiced his "outrage" when disinvited from the July 2010 Buckingham Palace Garden Party, for exploiting his invitation for political purposes.
The NI-list for weddings can be particularly embarrassing. Prince William and Kate Middleton's would have been awkward if the Syrian ambassador's invitation had not been withdrawn. Instead of eyes focused on Pippa Middleton's bottom, they may have been distracted by Dr Sami Khiyami, after more than 400 were killed in pro-democracy protests.
The reality TV star Kim Kardashian had to lose 50 guests from her wedding last year, reportedly in the main from stepfather Bruce Jenner's family. In the end, her marriage to Kris Humphries lasted just 72 days.
There is always the exception to the rule: yesterday, despite being blamed by fans for contributing to his ex-wife Whitney Houston's descent into drugs, Bobby Brown was invited to the singer's funeral.