Trendy phrases in search of a rub­bish bin

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - ISSUES -

● 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

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