Mea Culpa: Turbocharging the Banned List

Questions of style and usage in last week’s Independent

John Rentoul@JohnRentoul
Saturday 03 August 2019 18:48
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Land-speed records and ballerinas? Fine. Economies and housing crises? No thank you
Land-speed records and ballerinas? Fine. Economies and housing crises? No thank you

The main problem in trying to discourage colleagues from using “turbocharge” is how to spell it. The Oxford dictionary has it as one word, but I couldn’t find it on our website because I was searching for it in that form – in fact we used it several times last week, either hyphenated or as two words.

The recent vogue started with Matt Hancock in the Conservative leadership election. He was keen on turbocharging things, and, when he withdrew after the first ballot of MPs, the other candidates started using the word. Jeremy Hunt told us how his plans would turbocharge the economy almost as often as he reminded us he had been an entrepreneur.

Anyway, Jess Phillips, the Labour MP, has petitioned the court to have it added to the Banned List. By the authority vested in me, and using the special fast-track procedure, this has now been done.

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