Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Wordwatch No 251

I've discovered a new 'ology.
In talking about David Blunkett's resignation, the BBC's Political Editor Nick Robinson spoke of the 'processology' of the resignation.
Is this a new coinage by Robinson today or have I just not noticed it before?
It's certainly not in the OED.
The online OED raised its middle finger to me, as it were, by offering me 'proctology'. I'll pass on that one, chaps, thank you.

A little later today, the BBC's Political Correspondent, James Landale, came out with this:"We still don't know when David Blunkett suddenly had that Damascus Road conversion, that apotheosis......
Could he have meant 'apocalyptic moment'?
I think I'm right in saying that Mr Landale was educated at Eton. So that was a waste of twenty grand a year.
Don't they teach Greek at Eton any more? Or English, for that matter?
Or was he too busy scoffing toast with Gentleman's Relish or spanking his fag to do his prep?

[Note to overseas readers: 'spanking your fag' is not the same as 'spanking your monkey'. And I don't think they have fags any more at Eton, i.e. younger boys acting as servants to older boys. I assume they still have fags in the American sense, otherwise there would be no point to public schools at all.]


At 2:47 PM, Blogger Banksy said...

Perhaps he meant metamorphosis?

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

But what would he be metamorphosing into?
A socialist?

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Banksy said...

I agree, but metamorphosis is probably closer to whatever word he was struggling for than apotheosis.

Perhaps he meant metamorphosis from arrogant Cabinet minister to forcedly-repentant backbencher.

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah-ha, Robinson and Landale, two of my favourite BBC correspondents.

Landale has proved himself to have a real faclity with English recently. And I think Robinson just reckons himself so influential that he can single-handedly introduce new words to the language.

If it's one thing I can't stand it's making up new words to make the speaker sound cleverer-than-thou when there are perfectly good ones already out there.

Actually that's not true, there are loads of things I can't stand.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger patroclus said...

Maybe Blunkett *has* become a God in some horrific alternative pantheon.

I only said that because I wanted to use the word "pantheon".

At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Landale meant "apostasis"
Maybe Patroclus meant "pantechnikon"
Maybe "No" meant "Yes"
Maybe not

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Being less generous than some of you, I think he said it either without knowing what it meant or believing it to mean something false.

Last week a reporter on 'Today' described something as 'an historical moment' when he meant 'an historic moment'.

Meanwhile, the Government had to pulp the first printing of its education White Paper because it contained so many spelling errors.

It really is appalling. - ©Prince of Wales.

At 9:18 PM, Blogger colslew bitumane said...

talking of appalling isn't nick robinson so as he's attempting to do 'a Marr' as it were and failing miserably due to a lack of imagination or vocabulary extending further than a typical blair soundbite, ie. unecessary description followed by long pause

perhaps a replacement for private eye - 'landaleballs'?

At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Graham said...

Who gives a toss how you discribe it,it's just another bent politician that's been caught with his snout in the trough.
The head of the tory party in Scotland has had to go as well for creative accounting in his expenses £11,500.00 in taxi fares he claimed,so the score this week is 1-1.

At 10:03 PM, Blogger patroclus said...

A horrific alternative pantechnicon - like Marilyn Manson's tour bus, maybe?

At 2:55 AM, Blogger Cut-Rate Parasite said...

Thanks so much for the note to us overseas readers. I knew what you meant, but I liked the American image as well.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

cb: yes, compared to Marr, I think Robinson is more style than substance.

graham: having seen the scale of 'expenses abuse' in other walks of life, I don't think we should be surprised if some politicians do the same.

patroclus, not sure where this is going to end.
btw, the Guardian today, describing the same Blunkett moment, went for 'epiphany'.

crp: your knowledge of English literature would have given you an advantage there.
As I've said before, it's a bit of a one way traffic in slang between America and Britain, hence the need for footnotes.


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