Some Words of the Year 2008




John Smeaton – hero baggage handler who ‘assisted’

police in the Glasgow airport attack.



George W. Bush’s deployment of 21,500 extra troops to Iraq.

Chatty Packaging

Faux-friendly marketing blurb that aspires to a personal tone.


Those Not in Education, Employment, or Training.


Feral Beast

Blair’s term for the modern media which
‘just tears people and reputations to bits’.


Glamorous camping.



‘Sexy anorexia’.



Those who eat (only) locally grown food.



Paris Hilton’s inmate number during her incarceration.



Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre’s term for loss-making media organisations subsidised by profitable parent companies (Times, Guardian), or by the tax payer (BBC).


5 S’s

Graduated escalation of force, said to be part of the US military’s Iraq

rules of engagement: Shout; Show weapon; Shove; Shoot to warn; Shoot to kill.


Stunt Eating

Eating for media attention

[1] by celebrities, to disprove allegations of anorexia

[2] by officials, to reassure consumers about the safety of a food

(e.g., poultry, post-avian flu)

[3] by authors, to promote special diets.


Ghost Flights

Empty aircraft flown only to keep key airport ‘runway slots’.



A TV episode edited to include previously unseen material.

The Mother of All Targets

Prince Harry, who was said to have been targeted by insurgents

as he planned to join his regiment in Iraq.