The Third Leader: Word in your year

  • @charlesnevin

Do be a little wary over the next week or so, since we are about to enter the season of lists, reviews and round-ups of the year. As with most things, I find, a good rule of thumb is to ignore them unless they appear in the organs of Independent News & Media and its associates, the only instances in which the desire to illuminate and inform is the motive rather than the need to fill space or air because everybody's off at the Xmas party having fun with the photocopier.

On, then, to a list of the year's buzzwords and phrases, courtesy of the Collins online dictionary. Chav, tsunami, toxic soup, binge drinking, happy slapping, hoodies, 7/7, Cocaine Kate, Blunkettgate: a less optimistic commentator might be a little depressed by the buzz summary of 2005. Surely, too, that's enough gates (unless of course somebody called Back, or Cowand, gets up to something untoward).

Still, there are a few shortcuts to a smile: Veritas, old wotsit's party, for example, or Vanitas, as people would insist on calling it. There's nothing more dead than an old new phrase, is there, particularly in politics: forward not back, are you thinking what we're thinking: how quaint it all seems now. And I never did work out what that dog whistle thing was all about. Do you think Cameroons has staying power? Wouldn't the Noties be better?

Yes, but, no, but: the current bad buzz around Little Britain suggests that we also need a phrase for the ever diminishing gap between being hailed a genius and condemned as so like yesterday. Hypecrisy, perhaps. And isn't it time we had a new buzzword for buzzword? Next list, please!