In my RSS reader I came across an article from intriguingly titled ‘Jargon Watch – April 2011’. It took me a moment to realise (slow morning) but it’s still only March, isn’t it*?

So here’s the new jargon you can start using (from next month):


pp. Driving a snow-covered vehicle with only a small hole cleared on the windscreen. Also called peephole driving. Many people don’t have time or are just too lazy to clear the whole screen, so they scrape a space on the driver’s side and then aim in the general direction of work.

Entomological terrorism
n. The use of insects as a weapon. According to the US Army Medical Department Journal, the practice can be organised into three categories: attacking people directly (killer bees), destroying crops (locusts), and spreading sickness (disease vectors).

n. The people who maintain a smug belief in the primacy of print, particularly books, over digital works as a cultural driver, and the supremacy of professional writers, editors and publishers over amateurs. Coined by Paul Ford, writer and contributing editor at Harper’s.

n. The sudden death of a large number of birds. This year there has been a spate of mass bird deaths: 5,000 blackbirds in Arkansas; 300 turtle doves in Italy; up to 100 jackdaws in Sweden. Experts are unflapped: in North America, 50 million birds die every year.

*OK, there’s a simple explanation – the article’s from the April 2011 print issue of Wired, but that’s no fun, is it?