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”

Skorts or treggings? Decide what to wear this year with our look at new words in fashion.

by Liz Walter

Over the last year or so, two women have probably generated more column inches than any others on the subject of their clothes, and they could hardly be more different in style. On the one hand, we have Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, wife of Prince William, who, depending on your viewpoint, is either wonderfully elegant and demure, or dull and too traditional in her mix of designer labels and high street dresses. On the other is Lady Gaga, to whom the words demure or traditional could never be applied.

But what about the rest of us? Where has fashion taken us recently, and – more importantly for this blog – what new words has it given us? One definite trend has been for shorts, no longer reserved for the beach, but worn all year round in various forms. City shorts are smart and tailored, while cocktail shorts are glamorous enough to replace the little black dress at evening parties. Skorts can be worn for fun or for sport, and comprise a short skirt with an integral pair of shorts. For the young, Daisy Dukes and batty riders are extremely short shorts which allow the bottom curve of the buttocks to be seen, and girlfriend shorts have the inside of their back pockets hanging down below the hem. Continue reading “Skorts or treggings? Decide what to wear this year with our look at new words in fashion.”