Friday 26 November 2021

Buzzwords of 2021, Part 2

“To inbox” is now a verb.

Twitter dissecting Hancock’s resignation letter: he left out a “to” and put a comma before “and” – twice! (Sometimes you need a comma before an and, and sometimes you don't. It's all in my book, A Short Guide to Writing Well.)

Otherwise quite sensible people are fussing about other people using “podium” when they mean “lectern”. (You put your feet on a podium. Think of podiatry.)

There's a fad for using no capital letters as a protest against “elitist language policing”. (That's my job.)

Hackney Gazette talks about “racially minoritized” LGBTQIA+ young people.

Innovate now means research or invent. “We can continue to innovate.” “Filipino students innovate gloves that convert sign language into speech.”

Through the lens of” is going out.

Wokewashing is in.

Fury and mob violence against women who protested over a naked man who identified as a woman joining six-year-olds in a Jacuzzi. Some say children can “just look away”. (Reminds me of the prevailing attitude when I was 6-16 – you walk on, you look away, you don't react, adults downplay the whole thing, dismissed as a bit of a joke, "kiddy fiddling" etc. The man in question was later identified as a sex offender.)

Do people use “slanted” for “biassed” any more?

“Twitter isn’t real life.”

A lot of mean-spirited whingeing about “sportsball”.

Everyone is posting pin-sharp brightly coloured close-ups of flowers.

Black English footballers were hit with online abuse after the Euros. “Just a few hundred! And they’re mostly from abroad!” say apologists.

Progressive is back, suddenly. We’ve all got to be it – however you like to define it.

“Well done avoiding Twitter,” say people on Twitter. One pundit is recusing, resiling and reneging because Twitter isn’t representative enough – too many ABC1 liberals and recent graduates. That’ll be one conservative the less.

#urbanlegend The BBC is sending “enforcers” round to pensioners’ homes to strong-arm them into paying the licence fee. It’s desperate for money, you see, as its woke agenda is influencing viewers to desert in droves.

Your fuel tank could explode if you fill it to the top in hot weather. (No, says

July 16 2021 “Ping” is the word of the week. (NHS app and practically anything else.) Also pingdemic. It means “an app tells you you’ve been exposed to Covid”.

We’ve been here before: Oz, Last Exit to Brooklyn, defended on grounds of “free speech”.

Oh no, Crocs are back. Popular with “Gen Z”, especially when covered in little kitsch stick-ons. (Can we go back to calling them “teenagers”? We’re going to have to start again with Gen A soon.)

Business plan for a post-Covid City unveiled. Turn offices into homes. (Anyone who urges everyone back to the office is pretty likely to turn out to be a Tory.)

Has the government – or somebody – suggested culling cats and mink because they carry a Covid variant? Per Google, the Danes have culled infected mink on farms because they were passing Covid to cats.

End July 2021 Does “levelling up” translate as “teach the plebs Latin”?

Glurge” for those “it happened to me and it restored my faith in human nature” stories seems to have gone out. (Somebody notes that there has always been an American market for "true confessions". November: a man is exposed as a serial sender of made-up problems to's Dear Prudie agony column.)

Supermarkets, tired of people posting pix of half-empty shelves, are removing some shelving altogether. What will they do with the empty space? Many on social media desperately denying that this has anything to do with Brexit.

Christian churches starting initiatives to solve non-problems. Day of prayer for atheism. The CoE wants to encourage house churches with lay leaders. No expensive premises or education – or salaries for ministers!

Oh, now cis women are oppressors?

Someone suggests on Facebook that if Starmer doesn’t just hand over to Corbyn we can only conclude that he is following the agenda of “the Israel lobby”. There are people out there who have lost all touch with reality.

Both left anti-Semitism and TRA activism have reached Apocalyptic proportions – literally. Diagnostic signs: everything is blamed on The Great Whore of Babylon, seven-horned beasts etc, and the tone rises from frenzy to hysteria.

“The word X is doing a lot of work in that sentence.” Twitter is still moaning about headlines in the passive voice, that foreground the shooter not the victims, or the victims not the shooter. (The passive voice is fully explained in my book A Short Guide to Writing Well.)

“We’ve moved on from Brexit.” Translation: We don’t point out the downsides because, well, just because.

QAnon survivors and relatives’ forum has now cracked the 100,000 people mark on Reddit. (LW)

Haven’t seen a handbag dog for a while.

Therapy Twitter: You'd like to be rescued? A normal wish. But, a good therapist wouldn't gratify that wish. S/he would help you tolerate  frustration or whatever you may experience when not rescued or given advice. You might come to recognize your ability to rescue yourself. (@SharonJenaviciu)

2021-08-23 Lots of Twitter side-swiping at Ian Botham – he’s been made a Lord. “This governing body is unelected!” Did it take the ennoblement of a working-class sportsman for people to notice?

Carceral: does it mean “people I don’t agree with”, or “people who want to imprison the opposition and throw away the key”? What can “carceral feminism” mean? We don’t have our own prisons yet – but maybe we should.

When did business types start using the word 'space' to refer to areas of specialism, as in "the private equity space" or "there's scope for innovation in this space"? Needless to say, I hate it. (@entschwindet)

Wendy’s hamburger joints are back – they’ve been gone for 20 years and I never noticed.

Many complaints about “food & lifestyle blogs which have a massive preamble and get to the recipe/revamp/whatever 10,000 words later”. (It’s so that you have more space to sell ads.)


Shits and giggles – eccch! Seems to mean “sick jokes involving violence and humiliation to the vulnerable’.

Plans for pedestrian plazas around Oxford Circus have been delayed, hurrah! They are a pilot scheme for a more permanent arrangement. They cannibalise more of New Oxford Street than previous schemes. Oh, they might be quite nice really, but I want to get a bus to Victoria. Already I have to change by John Lewis, and this plaza will slow down the buses. It seems that local residents, who strongly objected to plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street a few years ago, also objected to these much more modest plans, so the council is going to carry out more consultations. (

Apparently if you have the right genes, you won’t get Covid. Eating healthily and exercising are also just as good as the vaccine.

It’s time to break free from the stigma of dining alone, says the Guardian. (Thanks – I have lunch alone too, and breakfast and tea. This may be a retread of the perennial “Can women dine alone in restaurants without being seated in a dark corner?” Meanwhile some City office workers eat their dinner in Pret – and why not?)

Gas price hikes: BREXIT
Food shortages: BREXIT
Sewage dumping: BREXIT
Export crisis: BREXIT
Driver shortages: BREXIT
Farming chaos: BREXIT*
Fishing chaos: BREXIT
Financial Asset exodus: BREXIT
Northern Ireland chaos: BREXIT
Livestock culling: BREXIT
* crops rotting in fields, nobody to harvest; farmers plant less for 2022

Nearly a hundred years since the Equal Franchisement Act, politicians pretend not to know which sex were prevented from voting. (Daily Telegraph headline)

Employees will be able to request the right to work at home from their first day on the job under reforms to be unveiled this week. The Times said that ministers are set to confirm laws to protect flexible working that were first proposed before the pandemic. (The Week)

Fence-sitting and toe-ing the party line are popular in 2021.

Fox News host says (vaccine mandates in the US Army) are meant to identify “free thinkers” and “sincere Christians” to exclude them from military (Guardian)

People posting pix of birds, kittens etc “to cleanse my timeline”.

“Don’t panic!” says the government, meaning “don’t panic buy stuff in short supply”.

Via Facebook: Media cause panic-buying spree. There is no fuel shortage! (There are queues at petrol stations because a shortage of truck drivers means supplies are running low. Surely if people panic buy, there will be a fuel shortage for those who haven’t “panic bought”?)

The driver shortage and Brexit are just a smokescreen for introducing a new, more expensive fuel. #urbanlegend

Much moaning about the two new tube stations, Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms. Inhabitants of new flats prefer to take the bus!

Vichy Feminism (like all those organisations set up to eliminate Abuse X which actually make damn sure it continues) Astroturf organisations. IPSO – the sham “regulator” operated by the corporate press.

Jewish Voice for Labour: anti-Semitic Labour organisation. Jewish Labour Movement – rebranded Poale Zion.

White stag loose in Bootle shot dead by police (2021-09-28)

There’s a petrol shortage, and drivers are now allegedly following tankers, presumably to hold them up at gunpoint in places like Surbiton. (LW)

Wayne Couzens – bad apple – oh, of course. (Sarah Edwards’ policeman murderer.)

Vaccine mandates, which we have said all along would work, are working. Despite a bunch of protests that they would rather be unemployed than inoculated, the vast majority of people subject to mandates are quietly getting shots instead of quitting. (@bopinion. See “You can’t change people’s minds by changing the law.”)

Homosexuality is an attraction to people who present themselves in a similar way to you.

Some are retrospectively deciding that pioneering women scientists etc were “really transmen”. Also, after Dr James Barry’s death, the woman laying her out discovered she “had been identified as female at birth”.

Bubble butt – it’s what we all want.
Bestie brunch – we want these too!

Facebook went down because:
a) Putin
b) disgruntled employee deletes sections of code
c) card entry system failure

When did people start saying “It doesn’t define me” – of homelessness, illness, body parts... What does it mean? “Menopause doesn’t define you.” TV ad. And many more things “don’t define you”, “I won’t be defined by my...” etc etc etc. 

Amazon sprays all its packaging with pesticides that can be fatal to cats. #urbanlegend

The house is being used as a pitbull stash house. (Animal Cops Houston)

There’s more fuss and sympathy for Sussex students “feeling unsafe” thanks to the presence of Professor Katherine Stock, than for women in prisons, hospitals and refuges actually being unsafe due to the presence of men “self-identifying” as women. Women in prisons are being issued condoms to protect them against AIDs and pregnancy, and Professor Stock resigned after being subject to  protests and abuse at Sussex University.

Rickets is back among poor children – give tinned oily fish to food banks.

"The discourse" seems to be taking over from both "the narrative" and "the conversation" in business-speak. Going forward, probably. (@AodhBC )

FB people are posting screenshots of Twitter “jokes”. This too may pass.

Twitter is not real life. 2021
I only said it on the phone, I didn’t mean it. 1975
I only wrote it one the wall, I didn't mean it. 75
I only wrote it on a potsherd, I didn’t mean it. 500 BCE

Safety and unsafe are changing their meanings. A group for childless women offers “safety”, a “sense of safety” – safe from society’s expectations, probing questions, unwelcome suggestions for “fixing the problem”.

“Charming” is having a moment.

Misspellings on Twitter (fukn, wyte folks) are to get round search engines.

2021-10-23 Narcissism and narcissistic popular this week.

I honestly don’t know who’s leading the LibDems.

John Lewis has withdrawn the ad showing a little boy in a dress wearing makeup trashing the house “because it could be misleading” (paraphrase). But its Christmas ad featuring a black boy is “too woke”.

Based (No idea.)

When did fishermen become fishers?

This year’s objection to Halloween is “too expensive”. Americans on Twitter defend themselves from the usual moaning about “Americanisation” and the moaners are really rather shocked that Americans were listening.

Amazonians send young women to COP26 to see if the Greta effect works for them. Greta gets much more coverage. Now Amazonians and others can whinge “that GRETA gets all the attention!” Rinse, repeat.

Meanwhile angry old white men complain that Greta “spews bile”: despicable 'thing' this 'Greta' individual is... Unbelievable how much evil she vomits... I think they mean “I don’t believe in manmade global warming and a female teenager is being noticed instead of meeeeeee!”

First sighting of “giant poppy watch”, illustrated with a pic of people wearing normal-sized poppies, maybe a bit early.

Oh, guess who’s behind a world fertiliser shortage?

Terfs are now being painted as ipso facto conservative.

Why young women on social media are developing Tourette’s-like tics. Guardian hed. (How long has social media been around? But there’s still nothing you can’t blame on it – see TV, video nasties, rock’n’roll, Hollywood films, crystal radio sets, the waltz, novel-reading...)

Graffiti: There is no pandemic! It is a complete scam. They are using to collapse the economy, take control of small businesses, digitalise currency and create a social-credit scoring system without your consent.

Newsletters are back! This is where I came in.

You can subscribe to get sleep meditations you download to your phone, for so much a month. You can buy them on Amazon for much less. All those £5 a month are going to mount up, aren’t they. The stacks, the mediums, the podcasts, the streaming services...

People who complain about having to read books for English class are a thing. (I’ve met them.)

In a world where people tend to have too much stuff, experiences can be welcome. (Cliché of the year from The Week)

"I'm so modern that I ... [take your pick:] never carry cash any more/never read books any more/can barely write with a pen/never go to shops any more/don't have anything except virtual friends any more..." Versus “I’m such a Luddite I have a smartphone but only use it to test my blood sugar.”

All these nutty ideas lead to revenge plots against their enemies. ( message boards. Conspiracy theories give you hate figures, which is what you want.)

A video watched over 100,000 times claims that new gates installed inside the entrance to a Sainsbury's in Holborn are for vaccine passports. They're part of a checkout-free shopping trial and have nothing to do with Covid. (

I think I understand QR codes now, but I've never used one. Still not sure how you "scan" them in the first place except you don't take a picture. When I do have to use one I shall flounder and look silly and be embarrassed.

You know, if you have to tell us it’s parody or satire...

RNLI is a benefactor of Masonic charity and therefore part of the Rothschilds NOW one world government conspiracy, says retired cab driver @alan_ridgley. (RNLI have rescued too many migrants from rubber dinghies this week.)

2021-11-25 This week men have been cross that MP Stella Creasey wants to bring her baby to work, and that some people disapprove of Durham University teaching staff and students about the dangers of sex work. One suggests that a female Doctor Who increases crime because it means young men lack a role model. He’s now claiming he didn’t say it – it’s on video.

In the good old days (up to the 80s?) middle-class people could only sell books or antiques. Now too many of them open delis and coffee shops, pushing out caffs and corner shops. They don’t go bust in recessions/lockdowns thanks to the bank of Mum and Dad.

Word salad popular end Nov. There’s a lot of it about.
Giant puppets are a genre now.

Cole Porter, in Hell, reading how Sondheim was the first person to write both lyrics and music and have the lyrics express complex emotions. (@robpalkwriter summarises the Sondheim clichés in the wake of the song-writer's death.)

The late Stephen Sondheim broke with the European operetta tradition of the American musical. With him the songs arose out of the story and carried the narrative forward, adds @AodhBC.

Sondheim's tunes are not exactly "hummable", says Wikipedia.

Unesco is urging governments around the world to prioritise providing single-sex toilets in schools. Girls in an Edinburgh school are boycotting the gender-neutral toilets which are all the school provides.

Heart-rending has become heart-wrenching. (I preferred rending, but we don’t rend our garments much any more.)

Word of the year: subscription (Streaming services, substack, podcasts, box deliveries – like an everything-of-the-month club.)

Gift tokens are now gift cards.

Fortean Times suggests that those popular stories about bears, elephants, moose that deliberately get drunk on fermenting apples are just #urbanlegends. It points out that fermenting fruit would have little effect on such large creatures.

Clowns popular, and “clown-car” as an adjective.

When radio programmes or newspaper articles mention Twitter, it's always disparagingly. "Twitter distorts the debate", or "This debate only exists on Twitter". Do their editors tell them to drag in social media somehow?

Standing headline for late 2021: Boris in new trust crisis.

London has lost a tenth of its population. The UK has lost 1,300,000 EU workers. There are over a million unfilled jobs. There aren’t enough trained or experienced UK residents. Unemployment has doubled in two years.

It looks like proposed changes to human rights law are to facilitate deportation of brown people. (Thank you, Adam Wagner.)

The word “peaked” has changed its meaning. But do people hear “My interest is piqued” as “My interest has peaked”?

Latest anti-Semitic trope: the Israelis stole their cuisine from the Arabs.

More here, and links to the rest.

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