juste a mot

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The Independent Online
Compiled in conjunction with Chambers Dictionaries.

This week, our lexico-friendly survey of the current English wordscape provides a value-added entertainment moment - infotainment, if you like - without any funky-trainspotter factor in the sort of language any kidult can understand.

So if you're not too blootered or puggled and your G-jitter registers less than five on the Shindo scale, settle down to the glow of the aurora metropolis and enjoy a new word or two - you'll find, as likely as not, that they are subject to the corn chip effect.


aurora metropolis: light-poll-ution caused by motorway lights.

blootered: Scots term for drunk, mentioned in 1993 for its omission from a Scots dictionary.

corn chip effect: motivational phenomenon: you can't have just one.

funky-trainspotter factor: spotted in the Guardian this year. No idea what it means.

G-jitter: physical effect of constant small changes in the force and direction of gravity.

infotainment: useful portmanteau word, expressing something between information and entertainment.

kidult: less useful portmanteau word, expressing something between a kid and an adult. (Compare Britain's only zonkey - a cross between a zebra and a donkey.)

lexico-friendly: (We made this one up.) By analogy with user-friendly, we now have sightings of market-friendly, old-person-friendly, family- friendly, exile-friendly, women-friendly. The new headquarters of First Direct at Stourton, near Leeds, seems to be the first building to have been described as "women-friendly".

puggled: same as blootered.

Shindo scale: earthquake scale that measures intensity of shaking rather than (as the Richter scale does) the overall energy.

value-added entertainment moment: NBC euphemism for an advertising break.

wordscape: (Another Independent original.) By analogy with landscape, a string of words including dreamscape, countryscape, textscape, mindscape, nightscape, soundscape, officescape and winescape have been spotted. There is even one sighting of a "groove-friendly soundscape".

Not to be confused with scape-goaticide (we prefer scape-capricide), coined in 1993 to describe the act of dropping too many players from the English cricket team.