Romneyshambles and Vatileaks: variations on a theme

speech bubblesby Liz Walter

As my colleague Paul Heacock mentioned in his blog , the word omnishambles was one of the runaway successes of 2012. Coined in 2009 for the political comedy ‘The Thick of It’, it came to prominence last year when the leader of the UK’s opposition Labour Party used it to criticize the government’s April budget. The resulting soundbite hit the airwaves, and Labour MPs lined up to re-use the potent word as often as possible in order to hammer it into the public’s consciousness.

The ability of a new term to express a feeling so perfectly and with an element of humour is a major factor in its success. An added bonus of this particular word is that it is easily adaptable. So, for instance, when Mitt Romney visited London in July, it was not long before his series of gaffes, including less than tactful comments on Britain’s ability to host the Olympics, was dubbed the Romneyshambles. Continue reading “Romneyshambles and Vatileaks: variations on a theme”