FLAT EARTH

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The Independent Online
New difinitions, geddit?

Reintarnation: coming back to life as a hillbilly. Giraffiti: vandalism spray-painted very, very high ...

The Washington Post recently invited readers to take any word from the dictionary and, after adding, subtracting or changing one letter, supply a different definition. Some of these are so good that they ought to enter the language straight away.

Sarchasm: the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and an uncomprehending recipient. Inoculatte: to take coffee intravenously when you are running late. Hipatitis: terminal coolness. Burglesque: a poorly-planned break- in. (See Watergate)

I particularly liked the neologisms connected with the mating game, such as Foreploy (misrepresentation for the purpose of obtaining sex), and Glibido - all talk and no action. One can see both being used of the same person.

Another favourite category is what one might term "modern life", such as Dopeler effect: the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly - and Intaxication: euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realise it was your money to start with.

Finally, as it were, how about Karmageddon: "It's, like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's, like, a serious bummer."

Anyone out there want to have a go? No prizes, but you might see your name in print.

Economy class president

Airlines can irritate even the most patient passenger, but you'd think royalty and presidents would escape the worst. After all, they fly in private jets, don't they?

President Alberto Fujimori of Peru normally does, but he experienced what it is like for the rest of us when he flew American Airlines economy class from Kansas City to Dallas recently, having allegedly been downgraded from first class. It seems that he was travelling incognito on a family visit, but that has not stopped him accusing the airline of "impertinence". The experience, he said, was like travelling by mini-bus.

He did not get much sympathy from an opposition newspaper back home, which jeered: "Now he only needs to travel in a minibus, queue up for social security ... [and] live on a teacher's salary."

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