Going forward, it is what it is…

Private Eye has an occasional column – the Curse of Gnome – in which people the magazine has pursued, or been sued by, are reported as having come to a sticky end. Robert Maxwell, James Goldsmith and Sonia Sutcliffe all faced the Curse. Their hex on Rupert Murdoch has yet to materialise.

Imitation being a form of flattery, it appears Insight may too possess some hitherto undiscovered mystical powers. Following last week’s schadenfreude-laden missive about TV luvvies who turn out to be monsters, Schofield’s reign at GMB ended abruptly the next day, and Rolf Harris is now asking St Peter if he can “see what it is yet”. Just sayin’.

Did you find that last phrase somewhat annoying? Surprisingly, the epithet didn’t appear among the list of the nation’s most irritating phrases that was compiled by Countdown Lexicographer, Susie Dent last week. Her survey galvanised the nation’s chatterati who responded in their hundreds of thousands decrying the use of “myself” instead of “me”, “reaching out”, and the use of the word “like” as a filler. Top of the list was “going forward”. 

The Times’ letters pages provided a predictable forum for further reader fulmination. It’s heartening to know that at a time of unprecedented (sic) social discord, there remains the time and energy to grumble about such matters. 

Hats off then to the PR department at used car dealer, Cinch, for jumping on the lexicographical bandwagon and commissioning a survey of the phrases that are likely to die out as motoring becomes electric. Running out of gas, petrol head and gas guzzler will soon be distant memories, apparently. 

Susie Dent conducted her survey via Twitter, on which she has over a million followers. A clever and amusing use of the medium. Would that Ron DeSantis had followed her lead. He was persuaded by Twitter’s new proprietor, E Musk, to launch his presidential campaign on a live Twitter feed. Rather like Musk’s SpaceX rocket, the technology failed and DeSantis was subjected to some ribald mockery from Trump and Biden.

As the ultimate tech-bro, is Musk disheartened by his latest abject techie meltdown? Clearly not. Going forward, his brain chip company, Neuralink has had the OK from the US authorities to start human trials to help restore people’s vision and mobility by connecting brains with computers. Be afraid, be very afraid didn’t make Dent’s list. It is what it is, did.

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