Trendy phrases in search of a rubbish bin
● Twerking: A phrase used by exhausted columnists of a certain age, desperate to appear in touch with popular culture, but in a goodhumoured, ironic way.
● Selfie: One of the peculiarities of the past few months has been how the idea of taking a photograph of your own face has become something new and interesting.
● Intimate terrorism: In its time, the Saatchi advertising empire pro- duced some memorable slogans, but this one – lobbed like a poison-gas canister into a recent court case – is particularly guileful. Nobody knows quite what it means and yet it brings together in sinister proximity that great good of the modern age, intimacy, with its great evil, terror.
There is a danger it could catch on among warring couples, with intimate terrorism even leading to spousal suicide bombers. We’d add to this list: ● Icon: A word that has has been so widely flung about as to encompass the sublime (global hero Nelson Mandela), the mundane ( Cape Town’s down-at-heel Grand Parade and Winelands restaurants favoured by the well-heeled), and the imminently forgettable B-list celebs who favour Clifton).
● Fashionista: A term much beloved of younger bloggers who need to curry favour with the catwalk crowd, it usually denotes a dollop of ego and posturing along with a faint sprinkling of flair.
● Keypoint: A description dear to securocrats all the way from the apartheid era to current apparatchiks, it’s entirely ill-suited to an age of Goggle Earth.
● Kimye: Kim Kardashian and boyfriend Kanye West and infant North West dominated the bit of 2013, prompting US President Barack Obama to wistfully remember when “kids weren’t monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that was the mark of success”.
● Beliebers: Preteen pop idol Justin Bieber lost his shine, along with his pet monkey, this year, giving rise to serious hopes that the Belieber phenomenon might be heading for the dustbin of history.
● 50 shades of anything: That the plethora of books and other merchandise seeking to capitalise on the success of the dreadfully written Fifty Shades of Grey continues can only point to a large sector of society suffering from sexual repression. In 2013? Dare we hope for a return of the gothic novel next year?
● Tweetups: They all tweeted but from Premier Helen Zille to ex-PR executive Justine Sacco, some learned tweets can come back from the twittersphere to haunt. So let’s consign the tweet-before-you-think reflex to the year that was.
DEVASTATION: Houses torn to shreds by Typhoon Haiyan at Barangay San Antonio, Basey Samar in the Philippines on November 25. The typhoon struck the central Visayan islands on November 8, killing more than 5,200 people, displacing 4.4 million and destroying crops.
EFFED: Julius Malema
DEPARTED: Nelson Mandela