[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 October, 2004, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
101 years in 101 words
We asked all you eggheads to sit down, stop doing naff all and come up with some awesome stories to illustrate that dumbing down is a thing of the past.

Punk, Big Apple and dunk (1974, 1928 and 1937 respectively)
Punk, Big Apple and dunk (1974, 1928 and 1937 respectively)
A study of when new words became common during the past century has had some surprising findings, such as the word "celebs" being used in 1913, the word "sex" meaning sexual intercourse being first used in 1929, and "mobile phone" dating from 1945.

Egghead (1907), wizard (1922), punk (1974), beatnik (1958), hot-desking (1991), and dumb down (1933) might also strike you as being whizzo (1905).

Click here for full list

To mark this linguistic love-in (1967), we invited you to create a story of 150 words maximum using as many of the words from the list as possible. Special recognition was given to entries that worked as convincing stories in their own right.

Here are just a few of the most inventive.

The President chewed a cheeseburger from a drive-in fast food store in the Big Apple. He longed to avenge 9/11, bringing sudden death to the Axis of Evil via Molotov cocktails, cruise missiles, U-boats and Blitzkrieg. But the realpolitik on civvy street was for ceasefire...confounded hippies, punks and peaceniks! He watched an It-girl in a sexy miniskirt, Wonderbra and kitten heels send a text message on a kitsch mobile before visiting a hypermarket to buy trainers for her gangsta boyfriend. "Cool!" he mused, before recalling how he met his wife, back in those awesome days of beatnik, boogie, bossa nova and acid, so long before applets, dot-commers and Google. But now he just dumbed down the nation, brainwashing the lumpenproletariat to earn his megabucks. It was a sexed-up Mickey Mouse illusion and it couldn't last. It gave him the blues, and he longed to say cheerio to his celeb status.
Andrew Nash, Fareham, UK (150 words, 47 from list)

Dear John - It's over. I used to think you were sexy and cool with your mobile phone and bling bling. Turns out you were nothing but a chav with your cheap trainers listening to hip-hop. I found out you had a love in with an It-girl at the drive-in, and I'm pissed off. All I ever got was a cheeseburger at a fast food joint. You can keep her, with her miniskirt, wonderbra and kitten heels. I'm off to the Big Apple to find me a hip, celeb, toyboy with megabucks. We'll dance the bossa nova and he'll feed me a bagel and latte after a night of hot sex. When I return you'll go into a tailspin and get the blues, I'll be so awesome with my botox and avant garde clothing. Sorry for the text message, but I have to boogie on out of here. Cheerio.
Dinah Stephens, Colleyville, Texas, USA (148 words 33 from list)

"It's sudden death for you or me tonight." "Yep, one of us will be demobbing, saying cheerio." "You pissed off about it?" "No. I'll be a celeb either way." "Not me. The brainwashed, lumpenproletariat won't get a buzz from Jethro. Cool trainers, by the way, very 'gangsta ghetto fabulous.'" "They're my luxury item. What's yours?" "Just my teddy bear. No bling bling for me. I'm the green peacenik in here, remember? Hence my axis of evil, 9/11 row with Tim the chav." "Of course. It'll be awesome get back to my mobile, text messages and Google." "I loathe that Mickey Mouse rubbish. I've missed spliffs, acid and my mates. Here, they're all sex-obsessed, dumbed down eggheads." "Including me?" "No, you're the sexy, ok yah 'It girl' who overuses the f-word." "F**king charming! This is no hippy love-in, then?" "No, Tamara, we're just part of the virtual reality of Big Brother."
Sam Leader, Sydney, Australia (150 words, 37 from list)

It was a blind date. I'd found him on Google and I wanted to impress, so I donned my Wonderbra, kitten heels and miniskirt. High hem-line and sexy plunging neckline. Power dressing? I looked awesome. So I was pretty pissed off when he turned up in a Trekkie t-shirt and psychedelic acid green trainers and told me we were going to McDonalds. He ordered a cheeseburger happy meal, with a Mickey Mouse toy, then proceeded to dunk his chips into his ketchup. Fast food - I said a fast cheerio! OK, I wanted a toyboy, but not a beatnik, cyborg loving punk with naff all taste who still played with toys. I had my mobile phone with me so I sent a text message to my mate, Sharon. We drowned my sorrows in the local pub, and did a great hip-hop karaoke version of Boogie nights. Men - who needs them?
Jane Collins, Camberley, Surrey (150 words, 36 from list)

It was in Trekkie detox that I first heard the F-word. Some egghead wizard who'd been pissed off since the Blitzkrieg was caught in an acid tailspin. He was doing beatbox karaoke to bossa nova punk, dressed in trainers and a Wonderbra. It would have been avant garde but this Botox beatnik, with his bling-bling and gangsta kitsch, looked like a Big Apple cyborg. He wanted a love-in with the It-girl, he wanted to sex-up a microchip. How do you dumb down Generation X? Some hippy ceasefire? Smoke the DNA spliff and say "Cheerio!" to the cheeseburger blues? Get hip to the green genes: Watergate was ad-lib brainwashing, toyboy powerdressing. From the fast-food to the non-U bagel, it's an axis of evil that thrives on sex. Anyways, it's all in my text message; you can read it later.
Graham Cranfield, Richmond, Virginia, US (138 words, 50 from list)

Conrad: Sonya, you look whizzo, awesome! Sexy and cool. You've not changed a bit. What's your secret?
Sonya: Very flattering, Conrad. It must be my Wonderbra, Botox facelift, kitten heels, and power dressing. But I have changed: remember, I used to be a punk, a beatnik, avant garde. We were both hippy peaceniks, into acid, I wore miniskirts. We mixed with some non-U naff lumpenproletariat types. Now you're a celeb, two mobiles, making megabucks, into power dressing, an egghead. You're always on the box talking about Big Brother, Watergate and 9/11.
Conrad: Sonya, you think I'm having it large, but I'm pissed off, what a snafu today. Let's dunk a bagel in a latte.
Sonya: After the hypermarket let's meet at that drive-in fast food place. But don't get the wrong idea: a cheeseburger, then home, or my new toy-boy will kill you.
Conrad: Sonya, that's wizard!
Sonya: Cheerio!

Aviva Perlmutter, Jerusalem, Israel (150 words, 38 from list)

Whizzo sat sipping a latte and eating his bagel, wishing he'd instead ordered a fastfood cheeseburger. This egg-head trekkie was hot-desking today at his company Generation-X - he was a dot-commer. Whizzo was into power-dressing but had naff-all style due his love of cool trainers. He was pissed-off due to waiting for a text message on his mobile from Kitten Heels, a sexy it-girl with a love for mini-skirts and Wonderbras. They were due to be having it large that evening at a hip karaoke bar called Boogie. That place had such a buzz and was always full of celebs on acid or smoking a spliff. Suddenly Whizzo's mobile phone rang. It was his lady. Refraining from using the F-word he asked where she'd been. "Detox" she said, that club where all the chavs hang out, dressed in their bling bling. "Sounds awesome, meet you there in 10" he said.
Chris Lloyd, Ipswich, UK (150 words, 36 from list)

(click here to return)

101 YEARS IN 101 WORDS
1904 hip 1937 dunk 1971 green
1905 whizzo 1938 cheeseburger 1972 Watergate
1906 teddy bear 1939 Blitzkrieg 1973 F-word
1907 egghead 1940 Molotov cocktail 1974 punk
1908 realpolitik 1941 snafu 1975 detox
1909 tiddly-om-pom-pom 1942 buzz 1976 Trekkie
1910 sacred cow 1943 pissed off 1977 naff all
1911 gene 1944 DNA 1978 trainers
1912 blues 1945 mobile phone 1979 karaoke
1913 celeb 1946 megabucks 1980 power dressing
1914 cheerio 1947 Wonderbra 1981 toyboy
1915 civvy street 1948 cool 1982 hip-hop
1916 U-boat 1949 Big Brother 1983 beatbox
1917 tailspin 1950 brainwashing 1984 double-click
1918 ceasefire 1951 fast food 1985 OK yah
1919 ad-lib 1952 Generation X 1986 mobile
1920 demob 1953 hippy 1987 virtual reality
1921 pop 1954 non-U 1988 gangsta
1922 wizard 1955 boogie 1989 latte
1923 hem-line 1956 sexy 1990 applet
1924 lumpenproletariat 1957 psychedelic 1991 hot-desking
1925 avant garde 1958 beatnik 1992 URL
1926 kitsch 1959 cruise missile 1993 having it large
1927 sudden death 1960 cyborg 1994 Botox
1928 Big Apple 1961 awesome 1995 kitten heels
1929 sex 1962 bossa nova 1996 ghetto fabulous
1930 drive-in 1963 peacenik 1997 dot-commer
1931 Mickey Mouse 1964 byte 1998 text message
1932 bagel 1965 miniskirt 1999 Google
1933 dumb down 1966 acid 2000 bling bling
1934 pesticide 1967 love-in 2001 9/11
1935 racism 1968 It-girl 2002 axis of evil
1936 spliff 1969 microchip 2003 sex up
1970 hypermarket 2004 chav
Source - Larpers and Shroomers: The language report

 




PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific