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Saturday, November 17, 2012

An omnishambles

No, not the Police and Crime Commissioner elections though there is a case that can be made for that accolade, but this article in the Guardian explaining how the word had grown into common usage following its first airing on "The Thick of it".

The paper says that this week, the word "omnishambles" was named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. They add that it emerged as part of a script edit for episode 1, series 3 of The Thick of It:

Malcolm Tucker is in the middle of lambasting new minister Nicola Murray. He gets in a lift, expecting her to get in with him just so he can keep shouting at her. She doesn't. When Malcolm asks why, she tells him it's because she's claustrophobic. It's the last straw for Malcolm. "Jesus Christ, you're a fucking omnishambles – that's what you are."

They continue:

That episode of The Thick of It went out in 2009. Earlier this year Ed Miliband used the word omnishambles in prime minister's questions to describe the government's budget. Since then it has mutated. Mitt Romney's disastrous overseas trip during his doomed presidential campaign was dubbed a Romneyshambles; the Independent ran a front-page story on the miscalculation of university fees under the headline Unishambles; Alex Salmond is apparently involved in a Scomnishambles (a Scottish omnishambles); and the coalition's reversal of policy on its proposed badger cull (blamed on bad weather, the Olympics and getting the number of badgers wrong) was called Omnivoreshambles. There have been some omniscandals too. Right now someone is probably starting a company offering multi-directional Westminster walking tours called Omnirambles. Omnishambles is omnieverywhere.

My personal favourite of course is omnivoreshambles. I wonder if we could get the word into use in the Welsh Assembly. Perhaps Ambishambles to describe the Welsh Government's mismanagement of the Welsh Ambulance Service. We will see.
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