Wednesday 31 December 2014

Euphemisms in Quotes 3

Hogwarts is not cheap

To get into them you do need a good education, and privilege – by which I infer money. (Bristol blogger)

The upcoming changes and how they are being handled, for which read foisted upon us, by Apple. (

The writers [of the 60s TV show] were allowed to be an eclectic bunch – i.e. some had not been to Cambridge. (The Guardian, March 25 2008)

They demanded “modernisation,” which turned out to mean up to 10,000 lost jobs. (Green Party)

They say “Shazia, you should be warm, friendly and unthreatening”. This is intellectual language for pink, fluffy bimbo. (Comedian Shazia Mirza, The Guardian, Aug 8 09)

Today, men are given confusing and contradictory advice. Socially, they are expected to be “compliant” (i.e. cooperative) partners to women. However, they are also urged by women's sexual interest to maintain an “attractive personality” – i.e. assertive and ambitious. (

Too often, though, the Academy has rewarded films at the high end of mediocrity, operating within a narrow band of reassuring realism. They're called “movies of quality,” which really means movies of piety — stories of cosy spiritual uplift (Mrs. Miniver, Going My Way) or, more recently, of superior damaged creatures (Rain Man, A Beautiful Mind). (Richard Corliss, Time magazine, Feb 25 08)

When a client asks us to "indulge them" we tell them to "pay us". (Matt Ranson/@matr77)

When directors say things like “I really wanted to return to this story to explore [x]” = “Hmm. I need another beach house.” (@artificer13)

When I said “I believe in the Christian Faith” I meant “I embrace the way of love”. (Richard Braithwaite, Cambridge Professor of Moral Philosophy)

“Had an old dealer in moaning that people are too educated & you can't get bargains any more! Translated he can't rip people off as easy.” (@LadyKentmores)

When someone says "With respect..." he means "With impatient and patronising contempt..." (@PeterBradshaw1) Working-class version is: “I’m not being funny, but…”

Wikipedians are “disagreeable” and “closed to new ideas”, according to one survey. Could this be because we have to resist continually the agreeableness and new ideas of creationists, revisionists, flat-earthers and other quacks? (New Scientist, 24 January 2009)

Women [who marry a man plainer than themselves] want a man who’s positive and supportive. Or, to use another word, grateful. (Carol Midgley, The Times, Sep 16 10)

Work-life balance is shorthand for finding reasons to work less. (The Leadership Skills Handbook)

Yet, in Germany, all was stagnation, he lamented. The dominant political ethos remained one of consensus, but what that meant in practice was “shying away from conflict and seeking broad approval in the hope of postponing change”. (The Guardian, Tuesday 23 November 1999)

"I'm sure it'll be fine" - Meaning: This can only end in disaster. "If you say so" - Translation: "I'm afraid that what you're saying is the height of idiocy".  (VeryBritishProblems/‏@SoVeryBritish)

More here, and links to the rest.

Friday 26 December 2014

Outrageous Excuses of 2014

In a recorded phone conversation, UKIP candidate Kerry Smith talked about UKIP setting up a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group. He jokingly referred to it as BLT UKIP, and adds "what the old poofter groups call themselves". He jokes about "shooting peasants" from the Essex town of Chigwell and supporting "a peasant's hunt through Chigwell village" A UKIP spokesman said they were "the rantings of an angry man" who was on sedatives for an injury at the time.
Man caught taping ex in shower: That hidden camera was for chickens!

I’m not racist, you’re quoting me out of context, I hate everybody, it’s just like calling the Irish Paddies, we all say these things in private - don’t we?

I’ve been hacked!: I meant to send that as a direct message, ooops! (In the olden days “Oh no I hit reply all!”.)

That’s not hotel dust – it’s come through the air conditioning vent! (Hotel owner on Hotel Inspector. Yes, but it’s still on the light fitting, isn’t it?)

Head of Sir John Cass school said boys and girls had separate playgrounds for "their own safety".

Cyril Townsend, a backbench Conservative MP, asked the Home Office to act [on child pornography]. In response, he claimed, it said: “that the problem did not exist, then that it had all been exaggerated, and finally that it was impossible to do anything about it.” (Spotlight on Abuse)

He had a temper. (Used to be used to excuse bullying, denigration, vilification and assault – not so much any more. Assumes the perpetrator can’t help it – it wasn’t him, it was his temper. We can also blame the subconscious, and (earlier) the passions, or an “angry and rebellious spirit”. That probably had to be beaten out of you.) Conversely, it may all be the fault of the victim, who was “emotionally dependent” on the perp, or provoked him, or something.

The "brand director" at Robinson's insisted that: "We are retiring Golly because we found families with kids no longer necessarily knew about him. We are not bowing to political correctness, but like with any great brand we have to move with the times." (Wikipedia) (Translation: We are bowing to political correctness.)

The occupation of an empty council estate has been hijacked by “hangers on,” councillors claim (Evening Standard) And the packed protests were the work of “a few ringleaders”, yes, we know.

Man who tweeted rape threats to Stella Creasy claims he was "trying to provoke debate". He also claimed that radical feminists had abused him on Twitter and he hadn’t realised he had offended anyone. “It’s a dark day for free speech.” He also said he was just satirising the feminist debate and these were just jokes and banter. He says he’s a feminist, says he retweeted a message threatening to rape Creasy as a “show of support”. He sent a message to Caroline Criado-Perez telling her to treat threats to rape her as “a compliment”.

Uganda's anti-gay law was repealed. Defending the law, Ugandan authorities said the President wanted to "demonstrate Uganda’s independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation”.

An orphanage manager in Cairo filmed beating children said he was trying to teach them a lesson because they were playing with electrical equipment.

Savile, Smith and others weren’t prosecuted because they were “too powerful”.

"We've all said those things. We're all fucking hypocrites." Gary Oldman commenting to Playboy on Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant. Gibson said his remarks were made “in a moment of insanity”.

A Baptist minister who was criticised for his poster reading “If you think there is no God, you better be right” with a picture of burning flames, said it was an attempt to get people to engage with the Christian message. (Daily Mail May 2014)

After the rape and hanging of two girls in India in June, a minister from the ruling party said that rape "is a social crime ... sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong.” (avaaz)

A man who wrapped his head in a blanket and waved a Toblerone in an attempt to hijack a plane said he was just trying to entertain the passengers.

More here, and links to the rest.

Thursday 25 December 2014


It is the day when he was born
A bitter day that early sank
Behind a purple frosty bank
Of vapour, leaving night forlorn

The time admits not flowers nor leaves
To deck the banquet. Fiercely flies
The blast of North and East, and ice
Wakes daggers at the sharpen'd eaves,

And bristles all the brakes and thorns
To yon crescent, as she hangs
Above the wood which grides and clangs
Its leafless ribs and iron horns.


Monday 22 December 2014

Adjectives 10


Full of ludicrous spa architecture ('sparchitecture') and garishly-painted fairytale towers, Bagnoles' main feature is, surprisingly, a spa. ( 

Spectacularly silly hospital design proposed in 1890s Manchester (It's modelled on the Eiffel Tower.) (@johnb78)

trashy hipster products
(M von Aufschneiter)

plucky: our plucky buyers (Homes under the Hammer) These incredible pictures show the moment a plucky seal managed to twist away from the killer jaws of a great white shark. (Daily Mail)

Caught the last episode of Dr Who last night. Usual mix of narrative-free sentiment, bombast and nostalgia. (Lee Jackson ‏@VictorianLondon )

social-welfare expressions (Betty Cornell Teen-Age Popularity Guide)

the remorseless pursuer of unconscious vulgarity (WM Thackeray)

clumsily written, trite pap (ND on Paulo Coelho)

Never in all my life have I seen such a footling procedure. (Below Stairs by Margaret Powell on ironing shoelaces)

hairybod drama recon (Susannah Davis ‏@aethelflaed on Operation Stonehenge)

Rachel Cusk’s last book was “mesmerisingly whiney and narcissistic”. (Times 2014-09-06)

interchangeably banal warbling (Lauren Laverne on the pop music of today)

the demented intricacy of science fiction (NYT on David Mitchell)

insipid Hallmark quotes (@SoluslupusIII See teatowels, quilts etc.)

mild, self-effacing, modest, ostentatiously humane if slightly hairshirt-wearing architecture (Owen Hatherley on the latest generation of non-dom investment flats – looking like good low-rise 60s housing estates, or modernist Cambridge colleges.)

excessive vulgarity (Andrew Marr on “Highland dress”)

high-fibre fun (Mary Beard on the Aldobrandini tazze)

Stephen Fry narrates in tones of sing-song wonder (Radio Times on a prog re whales)

the sort of wholesome casuals sold in Gap or Next (Nigel Richardson, Breakfast in Brighton)

Tom Paine had lived in Lewes in the 18th century and written The Rights of Man, advocating votes for all, old-age pensions and free state education – dangerously sensible stuff, for which he was indicted for treason and had to escape to France. (Nigel Richardson, Breakfast in Brighton)

I looked round Brighton’s fishing museum and it looked a bit Toytowny to me. (Rick Stein)

The first was too hot… The second was too cold… The third had a chummy blurb on the packet that was so unctuous it made her want to throw up. (Goldilocks by Berger and Wyse)

awe-inspiringly wooden (Peter Bradshaw on Grace of Monaco, May 2014)

Re: Bofill's housing schemes. They really were absolutely staggeringly nuts. (Charles Holland)

Alain de Botton’s “smarmy and banal ideas of self-improvement” Guardian April 2014

It's all self-righteous guff, flatulent bar-room moralising. (

His tone is one of rather soupy contrition… (LRB on the real wolf of Wall Street)

Norman Tebbit once claimed that the 1960s was a third rate decade, full of third rate minds, which were (among other things) smug, wet, sanctimonious, naïve, guilt-ridden and insufferable. (

‏The John Peel tent is going to be vibey, to say the least. (Kaiser Chiefs member)

More here, and links to the rest.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Euphemisms in Quotes 2

There go the "estates". Now for the "villages".

Then estates, now villages, streets, squares & gardens. (@createstreets on creative terms for "new developments")

Her Majesty considers the arrangements to be tentative
Until we ship a proper diplomatic representative.
We don't foresee that you will be the least bit argumentative,
So please ignore the man-of-war we brought as a preventative.

Yes, please ignore the man-of-war
That's anchored rather near the shore,
It's nothing but a metaphor
That acts as a preventative.
(Stephen Sondheim)

Orthodoxy is my doxy - heterodoxy is another man's doxy, as Bishop William Warburton pointed out to Lord Sandwich back in the 18th century.

“If interpreted correctly”, i.e. if twisted to mean something you'd never guess from the dicionary definitions? (AG)

A team effort is a lot of people doing what I say. (Michael Winner)

And so she began to tell herself that Dabney’s acting was “restrained” or “economical.” She appreciated that Dabney was “secure about himself” and “didn’t need to prove anything” and wasn’t a “showoff.” Instead of worrying that he was dull, Madeleine decided he was gentle. Instead of thinking he was poorly read, she called him intuitive. (Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot)

When I was poor and I complained about inequality they said I was bitter, now I’m rich and complain about inequality they say I’m a hypocrite. I’m starting to think they just don’t want to talk about inequality. (Russell Brand)

Guide to cynic's vocab: 'Public funded green space' = Shameful Waste. 'Private funded green space' = Vanity Project. Go figure.... (James Wong ‏@Botanygeek)

We call it riots, because they were black people. We wouldn't call it riots if they were white people. (James Baldwin in 1968)

Cooking tips: "Brown" = Fry "Caramelise" = Fry "Render" = Fry "Pan Fry" = Fry "Oven Fry" = Fry "Shallow Fry" = Fry "Stir Fry" = Fry (@kerihw)

Patriot is code word for Racist for conservatives. (‏@Proud2Progress)

Me to man in @eat_news 'Can I have a medium veg soup?' 'We don't have medium only small, big and bold' lskdgfniosdlg WHAT?!?! (Andrea Klettner‏/@aklettner And a “grande” latte is small.)

"We need to have an open debate about immigration." Translation: "I want to feel free to express my racist beliefs openly." #bbcqt (Patrick Strudwick/‏@PatrickStrud)

So what is the difference between 'dated' and 'retro'? (Apart from the price tag). (Jane Duke ‏@stoneflowerjane)

Newsnight "trusted on immigration" What's that, a euphemism for "full-blown racists"? (Winston Smith ‏@Globalidentity)

More here, and links to the rest.

Predictions for 2015

Met Office panics again

Someone will do something blatantly sexist, and everyone will go "Hey, guys! It's 2015!"

The Met Office and the BBC will predict bad weather. People will be very scathing about the “panic”. Bad weather will arrive. We will claim that we walked to school through snow drifts aged four.

Journalists will write articles about:

Why does nobody ever think about the men who pay for sex?
Craft is back! The fuller figure is back! (Any year since 1962.)
At last! Sexy bras for large sizes. (Every year for 30 years.)
Masculinity is in crisis.
Class is much more “nuanced” now, and based on socio-economic groups.
Dating sites just introduce women to frogs. There are five women to every man. But look at these women who have found love!
Zeppelins are back! (HAV304 or Airlander promised for “later this year”. 2014)

Media will predict the death of social media: Atlantic claims “Twitter is entering its twilight” May 2014

Media will claim that social media makes no money.

Someone will announce the death of Twitter, Facebook, blogging, email, the internet.

People who don’t use Twitter will denigrate Twitter and complaining that it’s just pictures of food. "I always say Twittering because I hold it in very low regard." Ken Clarke on
Question Time. People who do use Twitter will complain that Facebook and Instagram are just pictures of food.

People on Twitter will say: "Atheists, stop attacking Christianity! Stop shoving your religion down my throat!" (They mean “Stop saying you don’t believe in God.”)

They will also ask "Why isn't there a Men's Day?" and "When's White History Month?".

Gamergate will rumble on, becoming more and more misogynistic and reactionary.

Proponents of “whole language” reading methods (look and say) will continue fighting a bitter rearguard action for control of schools and the lucrative reading materials and training market in the teeth of overwhelming evidence that their method doesn’t work and teaching phonics does.

Someone will point out that one in five prisoners have reading difficulties.

Someone will reinvent speed reading. It will not catch on.

Faith schools will be found to be repressive and inefficient.

People will mention "British values" without defining them.

A dictionary will add a few items of modern slang. We will be very surprised, even though it happens every year.

Someone will suggest that we need a gender-neutral pronoun (ignoring “they/them” which has done the job for centuries).

People will complain about the news media.

Other people (or perhaps the same ones) will complain that the wrong people have control of the English language and that very soon it will be utterly destroyed and we will have to either speak Mandarin or communicate by gestures. (They like complaining about split infinitives, too.)

Many nice middle class people will enjoy themselves very much agreeing that everybody is illiterate these days – and what’s worse, they’re proud of it! They’re also proud of being bad at maths! In fact they are revelling in ignorance! (These nice people don’t mean “illiterate” (unable to read or write), they mean “uneducated” (makes a few grammatical mistakes).)
A politician will suggest dropping medieval studies as an undergraduate subject.

Someone will climb a mountain in flipflops, or go on a fun run in Dr Scholl’s.

Someone will rewrite a classic by Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Agatha Christie “for the 21st century”. It will be dire. (Clueless never made any pompous claims.)

We will wring our hands about domestic violence. (Every year for the past 30 years.) "A report shows that domestic violence victims are being failed by the police." (March 27 2014)  Some idiots will whine that there are almost as many male victims of domestic violence.

Someone will complain that fewer women play football every year.

A prominent woman will appear on the cover of Vogue – so photoshopped that she is unrecognisable.

Someone will announce the launch of a robot butler – soon. (But where's our robot pavement cleaner?)

Superyachts will get even more super. Gazillionaires will run out of features to add (helipads, slides, missile systems).

Someone will suggest a giant floating “world” on a specially adapted cruise ship. Buy a suite, become a citizen and get away from chavs, surveillance, laws, governments, the EU, immigrants etc etc etc

A teacher will tell children the truth about Santa Claus. Parents will be upset and will maunder on about the magic of Christmas and the look on their little faces, and the teacher will lose her job.

It’s the 80s/90s/00s/10s/teens – why don’t you ask HIM out?

Last year's predictions, and previous years'.

Friday 5 December 2014

Euphemisms about Money and Stuff (in Quotes)

In the upper reaches of the British establishment, euphemism is a fine art, one that new arrivals need to master quickly. “Other Whitehall agencies” or “our friends over the river” means the intelligence services (American spooks often say they “work for the government”). A civil servant warning a minister that a decision would be “courageous” is saying that it will be career-cripplingly unpopular. “Adventurous” is even worse: it means mad and unworkable. A “frank discussion” is a row, while a “robust exchange of views” is a full-scale shouting match. Economist July 2014

Property developer on radio refers sheepishly to "more discerning customers". Otherwise known as "rich people". (G Fallowes /@GPhallus)

The price for Poole pottery has softened. (Dickinson’s Real Deal) It has fallen.

"The observation was made that the audience was mainly middle class, whereas the real pressures of food scarcity and climate change are more relevant to those who are less resourced." ... I’m afraid I can’t, without remark, allow "less resourced" to pass into the vernacular as a better phrase than "poor". (Zoe Williams, Guardian May 24 2014)

abundant: get lots of money. (The euphemism, these days, is "abundant," as in "Every day, you're going to live that abundant life!".

attractive: country where labour is cheap “China is starting to lose its attractiveness.” (McKinsey report on Bangladesh, 2011)

care in the community: Too often a code word for budget-cutting. (Karl Taro Greenfield)

production difficulties: Production difficulties – which I think means budget constraints. (The Times, 16 Nov 2013)

Cameron has "reformed" the NHS in the sense that the Goths "reformed" Rome. (@marcuschown)

sincere: I've consistently argued that a more contextual and sincere (ie uncommercial) take on public life is what the Queen Elizabeth Park needs. (Kieran Long)

suggested post, promoted tweet, special offer, sponsored post, sponsored link: social media advert (Steven Poole, Guardian 23 Nov 2013 The opposite are “organic” posts and tweets.)

More here, and links to the rest.

Monday 1 December 2014

Buzz Words of 2014

Is the media over-reacting just a tad?

Twitter: People are so easily offended these days! Atheism is a religion. Won't somebody think of the children? If we come from monkeys why are there still monkeys LOL! Why isn’t there a white history month? You should be worrying about (something completely different). Wake up, sheeple! Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. (Via Alex Andreou of the Guardian)

People are installing actual floodgates, 2 January.
flood tourism

listicle (list + article = 10 habits of mentally strong people)
devices: phones and tablets
classy, stay classy
intersectionality (seems to mean “white feminists including black women”)

tariff: Finally we’re admitting that energy companies having 20 different, complicated, tariffs makes it impossible to compare providers.

bichon: suddenly everybody’s got a bichon frise or is it freesay?
reshoring: David Cameron – bringing “offshore” jobs back “onshore”, January
Who’s with me? Twitter, Jan (Gone by July.)

Is “mindful” the new “holistic”?
upcycle: sand, and paint grey

A lot less whingeing about weather “panic”, but some people still posting “funny” jokes about panic over the floods (and especially the BBC weather warnings).

heinous: mainly US – That’s so heinous!
a pop of colour
retreat: First week of February, when the Somerset Levels have been flooded for a month and the
railway line at Dawlish has been washed away, used to mean “stop building flood defences, give up, let the Levels turn back into marsh and Ely turn back into an island”.

American liberals seem to be blaming everything on… Walt Disney. Especially Disney princesses.

typing gesture has taken over from telephone gesture (and text gesture)

Twitter meme Feb: “please RT” pics of a handwritten message (Some may be Photoshopped.)

stone: People have stopped saying “stone” for very (which they did very briefly a few years ago).

Flood moaning continues: David Aaronovitch is using the word “hysteria” and someone else asks “I wonder if the papers are over-reacting a touch?” “Whingeing” has been mentioned. And someone is “bored” with flood reports Feb 19.

snagging, snag list (Whatever it was, it has gone again.)

You can read a book on a “device” because people will think you’re checking email/FB/Twitter. (But old people will complain that young people spend all their time on “devices” sending selfies and texting their friends and updating Facebook instead of talking to people who are present.)

Americans are saying it’s racist to call people racist. (There’s a lot of grumbling about Black History Month.)

They’re talking about wearable computing again. (Every year for the last 20 years…)

Oh my days! is back. (Gone again, Dec.)

passion – you have to be “passionate” about what you do. Think this is our old friend “commitment”.

SEO is “now passé”. (

data point (does it mean “fact”?)

A suitcase is now a bag.

Twitter meme: quoting inane stuff found on FB to supply evidence that FB is really lame and Twitter is the place to be.

derp: do something stupid
TERF: Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist
curate: now means “choose”, rather than “choose, research and conserve”.
together home (like forever home)

Lots of snarking about Nick Robinson: fawning on the Tories, talking out of turn on Crimea. (Mar 17)

misper: missing person

No one breaks a record or hits a target any more – they “smash” or "shatter" them.
And the Russians are “storming” targets, instead of attacking them. March 22 2014

granularity: fine detail

secret locations: probably been around for a while – enabled by technology
The bien-pensant are now worrying about enjoying ruin porn without being like all those other people who like ruin porn (“disaster tourists”). The same may be happening with Brutalism – is it getting (gasp!) TOO POPULAR? was, like, 20 years ago?

What to Say About hipsters: They wear glasses but they don’t need them. (Probably with plain glass instead of lenses.)

Now there’s “hysteria” about the Saharan smog, week of April 1.

It’s fashionable to go completely over the top about mild grammatical infringements. There are the usual threats to shoot anyone who says “Can I get a latte”, and stuff like this: “Someone sent me an email in which they opened quotation marks but never closed them, and now I haven't slept in two years.” I think it’s meant to be funny. And a bloke on Radio 4 said that when he visited the States he found himself saying “store” instead of shop and wanted to shoot himself.

Are “hashtag activists” the latest legitimate sneer target? (We don’t need to do anything about that, the hashtag activists are onto it.)

Kate, Wills and George are visiting New Zealand this week and the press are accused of “grovelling sycophancy” for covering their tour. And people are writing witty letters to the broadsheets about the coverage (early April).

boutique everything, even estate agent

Moral compass now means “moral code” or “moral sense”. (A moral compass would just point at Good (North), Bad (South), Complex (East) and Ambiguous (West).)

concern porn (over kidnapped girls)

trigger (Week of May 18. Pieces carry "trigger" warnings.)

Peak “peak” week.
(May 23)

faceless bureaucrats (Are they dangerous lefties?)

Apparently nobody queues any more – they just have no manners not like in the Good Old Days. (Queues were invented in WWI. Before that people just milled about.)

shop: alter photograph in Photoshop
earthquake: not a terremoto, but political change

fawning: the Queen’s making a speech (6 April)

Poor Kirstie Allsop’s in the firing line again for suggesting that girls should skip uni and just get on with getting married and having children (or for being fat and posh, as some put it).

Giant jungle clearing slogans in Brazil (C’MON ENGLAND), snapped and put on Twitter, are a thing (August). (Or are they all photoshopped?)

gamification: Do you remember when everyone talked about gamification for about three months then forgot about it? (@MarkOneinFour)

enriching is the new improving

throat punch (ugh!)

People still (or again) saying this kind of thing: Why is feminism’s fundamental foundation built upon the falsifiable patriarchy theory. Which is its animus?

You had one job... (still going Dec)

People tweeting variations of: Opening a window to let out a fly and ending up with thirty midges, three wasps, two bees and an owl. (Sometimes a fox. Why steal tweets?)

After the Harris case, and allegations that many in parliament were involved in abuse of minors in the 70s and 80s, the thing to say is “Our obsession with pursuing paedophiles is a modern witchhunt”.

bucket hats are back (after about 15 years)

radicalisation now means “turned into a belligerent, extremist Muslim”

Interesting wedding photo opportunities seem to be a thing.

What to say about historic child abuse, Irish mother and baby homes etc: “They were different times, we can’t judge them by our standards.”

Vicious attacks on Laurie Penny for trying to get abusive reviews of her book removed from Amazon. (end July 2014-07-22. Lip-quivering, victimhood, petulant etc etc etc. Somehow complaining about CCTV and the nanny state is not lip-quivering victimhood.)

Pretended indifference to darling Prince George.

Crossrail diggers using “breakthrough” in its literal sense. (Like builders talking about “ground-breaking”.)

Indy Ref (Scottish Independence Referendum)

This week’s “Can I get a latte?” is the historic present. (Early August)

Week of Aug 4 many people complaining about the “glorification” of war. When pushed, they explain: “You know, parades and that.”

Of any group shot of politicians, say “U2 haven’t aged well, have they?” (and variations).

Mid-August, people are using “outgunned” in its literal sense.

EVERYBODY hates Richard Dawkins now.

Rain has not dampened the festivities at Notting Hill. (“Soggy revellers” were mentioned too, 25 Aug.)

Many things that are not storytelling are called storytelling. I think it means “PR”.

Much sneering about “threat levels”, 29 Aug.

Assimilation, multiculturalism, misogyny and political correctness all popular post the Rotherham report. (Also blaming “rural Pakistanis” for having the same attitudes towards young girls as Yorkshire policemen and social workers.)

Brutalist being used for any post-war building that isn’t pastiche or post-modern.

Video gamers whingeing deafeningly about Anita Sarkeesian. She got an award! And compensation! And she said videogames are sexist! And she obviously knew that bomb threat was just a troll! (She wrote some articles about sexism in video games, September.)

As Scotland goes to the polls everybody hates Nick Robinson again.

jolly hockeysticks: used to describe one of those pieces (in the Guardian) listing the phenomena that add up to Britishness. OK the writer mentioned Malory Towers. But she also mentioned fish and chips. Hockey was referenced nowhere.

onesie: No one shudders while using this word any more.

SJW: hashtag activists are now called SJWs or “social justice warriors”. They are full of “faux outrage” over #gamergate.

And Owen Jones, of course, is just a “champagne socialist”. (Only a fake lefty? Then surely he’s no threat?)

nude selfies: Apparently you have to take one and send it to your romantic prospect.

surveil: Anxiety about governments “surveiling” the internet, last week of Sept.

Selfie bashing is so 2013! (M. v. Aufschnaiter @mva_1000)

egg account: anonymous Twitter account

Cool bananas! (It's gone now.)

People tweeting re the smell of burning dust second week October (from the central heating they have just turned on).

#gamergate rumbles on. Three women and their children have been hounded from their homes by death threats, but Gamergate are the victims. The SJWs (social justice warriors) are all in it for the attention and compensation. (A bit like those climate change scientists who just want to keep their jobs.)

longform still popular: It means Americans writing repetitious articles that have made their point by two-thirds of the way in.

#gamergate has hit the mainstream media, 17 Oct - usually taking the form “Who are these wankers?”

twee: It seems to be OK now to point out how many things are.

The accusations of “panic” about Ebola have begun, 20 Oct.

As two-year sentences for trolls are talked of, the Stephen Fry defence (everyone’s so easily offended nowadays!) resurges, 20 Oct. (The two-year sentence has been in the Bill since July.)

Twitterwise, it has been a year of astroturf accounts, rhetoric wars and battling Eliza-bots. (Just like dear old usenet.)

What To Say About Trolling, 21 Oct: However the authorities respond, they’ve got it wrong somehow. Because, you know, they’re the Establishment.

The middle classes’ annual poppy indignation meeting has started, 24 Oct. “Terrifying poppy propaganda” (spoken adverts on tube and buses)

Ian Hislop is still holding out against Twitter.

Tried to remember how to hate Halloween: US import; commercialised; intrusive etc. But the kids love it so much it's all just 'Bah Humbug!' (James O'Brien ‏@mrjamesob)

A lot of mean-spirited snarking about people wearing T shirts saying THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE, 30 Oct. It’s like wearing a poppy! (What a difference from the 80s, when everyone wore a Friends of the Earth badge, a stop the bloody fur trade brooch, a Frankie Says Relax T shirt etc etc etc. Though it did make more sense back then, when feminists had a look.)

People have stopped making a terrible fuss when anyone unfollows them on Twitter. They never tweeted about their meals, but they do tweet every time their pet throws up, farts, drools, vomits or shits on the sofa. They could stop doing that.

The poppy display at the Tower, and the viewing crowds, “glorify war”. (Sian Williams points out that “glory” is part of the language of war: Death or glory, the glorious dead.)

#gamergate latest is getting tame “feminists” (who may not even be real people) to quote each other dissing “censorious feminism”. You know, the kind that doesn’t like sexism, or death and rape threats.

UKIP supporters say: “I’m just saying what everybody else is thinking.”

iceberg homes: Create another three stories – in your basement.

Badges are back.
Kim Kardashian’s “pre-Photoshop” pictures were Photoshopped.

Some idiot comes up with yet another reason why rape isn’t rape.
broken: All kinds of things still are.

storied: "Even in her storied position today..." (Guardian, Nov) “Storied” is American for “celebrated” or “historic”. Here used to mean something like “highly respected” or “prominent”.

normcore: Over so soon?

Of course gamergaters are conducting the argument as if it was a video game, winnning points or rounds, using arguments or people as “shields”, branding people friends or enemies, you call me misogynist I call you misandrist...

In the context of schools, “teaching children British values” means “preparing children for life in modern Britain”, which is quite sensible really. (My school prepared us for life in medieval France.)

The middle classes are all hating Black Friday because it’s American. And chavs are hitting each other with tellies.

This year’s meme: Nobody says thank you any more!

More here, and links to the rest.