Omnishambles: the word that sums up the year - official
Charlotte Philby is a writer at The Independent with a weekly column on motherhood in The Independent Magazine. She was shortlisted for the 2013 Cudlipp award for excellence in popular journalism for her undercover investigative work, and writes for various cultural magazines.
Tuesday 13 November 2012
Writers of The Thick of It have been credited with creating the Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year. ‘Omnishambles’ is defined as “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterised by a string of blunders and miscalculations”.
What makes this informal noun so impressive, a spokesperson for the Oxford University Press explained, is its “linguistic productivity”, with off-shoots including ‘Romneyshambles’: “Coined in the UK to describe US presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s views on London’s ability to host a successful Olympic Games”.
Being awarded the Word of the Year does not mean ‘omnishambles’ will automatically go into any Oxford dictionaries. In order for inclusion to be considered, evidence is needed that a word or expression will “stay the course”.
Though the OUP is hopeful: “Omnishambles, derived from omni- (‘all’) and shambles (‘a state of total disorder’), has given rise to its own derivative, omnishambolic, indicating that potentially this is a word with staying power.”
Other expressions on the shortlist include Mobot, Eurogeddon and mummy porn.
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
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