Inspired by the outpouring of indifference and thinly disguised insults voiced by former colleagues and acquaintances of the late DJ and TV presenter, Sir Jimmy Savile, Oxbridge University Press is to publish the OUP Dictionary of Euphemistic Tributes to Someone You Really Didn’t Like.
‘It’s the ideal stocking filler,’ OUP’s Trevor Sparrow tweeted. ‘Sir Jimmy’s death unleashed such a flood of platitudes, clichés and innuendo; we couldn’t miss the opportunity. Anyone asked to pay tribute to someone they never got on with will find this dictionary a godsend.
‘It’s also a celebration of the rich subtlety of the English language. In what other language could you say, ‘He was unique, a larger-than-life character, a one-off, who found it difficult to allow people to get close,’ secure in the knowledge that everyone knows you really mean: ‘He was a talentless, publicity-hungry, jewellery-jangling, track-suited Jimmy No-mates, who got inexplicably lucky?’
The new dictionary will contain such gems as: ‘Not so much a mourning of his passing, more a celebration, the deathless: ‘None of us knew the real him – perhaps not even himself,’ the classic, ‘Whatever you thought of him, he did do an awful lot for charity,’ and the unforgettable, ‘It was such a shame he was never able to sustain any strong relationships, except with his mother, especially after she died.’
Clarky, hat-tip to Waylandsmithy