Romps – What People Say

Romps, Tots and Boffins has been selected as a Book of the Year in the Spectator, the FT, the Times and the Sunday Times.

Here’s some of the things people have been saying about it:

Matthew Parris, The Times:
I’m loving a little book just out by my fellow political journalist Rob Hutton. It’s called Romps, Tots and Boffins: The Strange Language of News but is so much more than a hilarious compendium of the ghastly cliché to which our trade is prone. My favourite among Hutton’s definitions illustrates language’s ability to warp the meaning we take from what we read:

After: we will now imply a link between two events that may or may not be related. Or try “ahead of”, “comes as” or “in the wake of”.

Amid: may be appropriate if “after” or “in the wake of” aren’t.”

Ann Treneman, The Times:
“An essential guide to finding out what you are reading about. Some people may dismiss this as a ‘loo book’ but, actually, it’s so much more.”

Matthew Engel, the Financial Times: “Romps, Tots and Boffins has the look and feel of a Christmas potboiler, though it is much funnier than most.”

Libby Purves: “great joy from Robert Hutton’s Romps, Tots and Boffins. Never has the weird language of headlines been so wittily defined.”

Paul Dietrich, Metro:
“A right romp.”

Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator:

Nick Robinson:
“A fascinating code-breaker of the cliches, inanities and banalities which fill our newspapers. Or, if you prefer, ‘News Secrets Revealed Leaving Bosses Shamefaced’. I’m not sure I dare write another word.”

Andrew Sparrow, the Guardian’s political blogger:

Iain Martin, former editor of the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday:


Robert Shrimsley, Managing Editor of

Tim Shipman, Deputy Political Editor of the Daily Mail:

Dominic Ponsford, Editor of the Press Gazette:

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