Miscellany 3: Celebrity & Vocabulary

London, Media, Reading & Writing

1. ‘Trampire’ is apparently the noun coined to describe the now reviled Kristen Stewart by the very people who hysterically typed ‘Hater!’ into these comment sections a few weeks back (see picture), since she went public on the cheating of ‘Lurch’ R-Patz. The Times describes the upcoming nightmare of now having the two of them work together on ‘Twilight’ Part 57, saying it will be like getting a dog into a bath. Their words, not mine.

2. While we’re in the subject of the Times and its continued freefall into dumb-as-a-stick lingo, their celebrity section describes some weird-looking Munsters with too much makeup called Kardashians (I had to look them up on YouTube. My Lord.) as ‘lavishly-arsed’. Now, the correct word for this is, as many of us know, is ‘steatopygous’, and the Times has missed an opportunity to improve the wordpower of its readers by using it.

3. Meanwhile, the language of the boardroom continues to invade the high street; spotted outside a nail bar in Hammersmith yesterday; ‘Muff Management £10.’

4. The work-in-progress was called ‘Celebrity’; the finished play is called ‘Falling Stars’ and starts workshopping next week. What has emerged is – apart from the central role of Helena – a very different kettle of fish, and I’m hoping we’ll get the play into a decent venue next autumn. I know that seems like a long time away, but I just booked tickets for ‘The Book of Mormon’ for spring next year, and incredibly, found that they were nearly all sold out. Since when did we start planning our lives so far in advance?

5. Thinking about words brings me to recommend three books about them; ‘The Western Lit Survival Kit’ by Sandra Newman is better than her first, ‘How Not To Write A Novel’, and breaks classic books down into importance, accessibility and fun – although her need to add jokes about each feels a little forced. ‘Thank You For Not Reading’ by Dubravka Ugresic is a wonderfully acerbic volumes on publishers, readers and the business of books, and ‘Reading Like A Writer’ by the aptly-named Francine Prose is an intelligent guide for book-lovers.

9 comments on “Miscellany 3: Celebrity & Vocabulary”

  1. Dan Terrell says:

    May we have more of these columns, please?
    You can, I’ve read, buy insurance (Advance Sales Insurance?)to cover the cost of tickets you purchased for a show so distant that you may be unable to attend do to an act of god or just old age. I buy similar insurance each year when I pay – 5 months ahead – for a place on the shore.
    “And I leave to Robert III, my 1974 Firebird and my 2014 boxseats to U2.”
    Remember reading about “Reading Like A Writer”.

  2. Richard Markworth says:

    I saw the nail bar you refer to a couple of weeks ago. I was going to take a photo of the board for my Facebook page but was getting some dark looks from the staff inside the shop. I expect my juvenile laugh/point combination annoyed them. Still, it does make you question what on earth the country of Shakespeare descended to.

  3. Helen Martin says:

    Saw a note recently regarding “Reading like a Writer” but can’t be sure it wasn’t in a cutting supplied by my personal service.

  4. Daniel says:

    I remember seeing something in one of the tabloids describing one of the Kardashian as ‘callipygian’; I’d normally applaud seeing a word like that in the kind of newspaper you find lying around in the bookies, but being a stickler for definitions I bridled somewhat. ‘Steatopygous’ is definitely the word I’ll use in future. It’s far more succinct than my dad’s comment on seeing a picture of a Kardashian for the first time; “The last time I saw an arse like that it was pulling a dray wagon”.

    I shall now retract my cat claws and go back to pretending I think the Kardashians are the villains on Star Trek.

  5. glasgow1975 says:

    ‘lavishly-arsed’ sounds like Caitlin Moran . . .was it?

  6. Lostintown says:

    It is fun to laugh at fat people isn’t it?

  7. admin says:

    It absolutely is, Lostintown, when they’re super-rich and incredibly stupid. It’s not when they’re fat because of class and financial issues. OK?

  8. Lostintown says:

    I think that there are a thousand reasons to hate the vapid Kardashians and all that they represent but hip size should be pretty close to the bottom of the list.

    Better to leave that to the celeb gossip magazines rather than get caught up in the circus.

  9. Dan Terrell says:

    Forgive me all, I can’t help but point out that “hip size…” IS “pretty close to the bottom”. In fact, when tailors say they’re taking your hip size, it’s a euphemism for measuring the whole profundity.
    Lostintown thank you for the first smile of the day. “And a Jen Lopez award goes to …”

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