For my speech at the Romps… launch party, I listed the Top 10 glaring omissions from the book, the bits of Journalese I really wish I’d got in there. (This list was compiled using the same rigorous scientific method as the rest of the book.)
10. “Glaring omission”.
9. “My sense is” – I’m live on TV, and so far out of my depth that I don’t even understand the question the person in the studio just asked me.
8. “Frolicked” – what actresses do on beaches in full view of the photographers hiding in the bushes several hundred yards away. It was a wet spring, so this one didn’t start appearing in newspapers until the book has gone to press.
7. “Fired the starting gun” – what the prime minister will do to the election at next month’s party conference, and then in every speech for the following 18 months.
6. “Brandish” – what referees do to red cards
5. “Economic madness” – I disagree and you’re dangerous/”Economic illiteracy” – I disagree and you’re thick.
4. “Mercy dash”.
3. “A light-hearted sideways look”. As in: “Newsman Robert Hutton has penned a light-hearted sideways look at the weird and wonderful world of the news.”
2. “Pleasant-looking” – generally means “unpleasant-looking”.
1. “An area popular with joggers and dog-walkers” – always the best place to hide a body.