Words: pastify, v.

THERE ARE two ways of getting a newly minted word into circulation. One is to slip it into talk or writing, and see what its merits and serendipity bring about; the other is to nudge it along with quotation-marks, but that looks like touting one's wares, as in the Cambridge don Stefan Collini's recent English Pasts: "The explosion of popular interest in recent decades is what can only be called `pastifying'. Few areas of British life seem untouched by this mania for revival, restoration, conservation, and imitation."

This essay in fact first appeared five years ago, and there is no sign that Collini's word has taken off, perhaps because, confusingly, it also suggests cookery, as in pastry (from the Greek for porridge, hence pate and pasta).