Jargonbuster looks at this year's most annoying phrases

The World Today Published 7 December 2012 Updated 7 December 2018 1 minute READ

1. Predistribution: Since Ed Miliband used the word, coined by Jacob Hacker, the Yale political scientist, it has made politics as inviting to the uninitiated as a symposium for a peer-reviewed Journal of Extra-galactic Physics. You might know what it means – a more equal spread of earnings from the labour market – but does it help?

2. Like something from The Thick of It: Ever since the 21st-century version of Yes, Minister returned for its fourth series in September, we have marvelled at the ability of coalition ministers to imitate art. Enough.

3. Omnishambles: A word coined by Armando Iannucci in the third series of The Thick of It, which was given currency after the Budget this year. Likewise.

4. Fifty Shades of … It was interesting once, when one suspected that every woman with a Kindle on every train in the country was reading the same thing. The first book of the trilogy was published last year, although most people did not know about it until this year. Anyway, conceits based on it, such as ‘50 shades of environmental activism’, are already passé.

5, 6, 7 and 8 Medal and podium as verbs: It doesn’t get any better than this and a great ambassador for the sport as uplifting social commentary: The Olympic s are over. We enjoyed them. But these are four enrichments of the language we need never use again.

9 and 10 Eurogeddon and Brexit: The eurozone crisis, on the other hand, goes on. Eurogeddon was first used by Timothy Garton Ash, the pro-European essayist, in The Guardian in July 2011. It was snapped up by the anti-EU faction and soon became a cliché. Brexit, a contraction of ‘Britain’ and ‘exit (from the EU)’, was invented only in June 2012, but is already tiresome.