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. The new volume will be available in time for Christmas.
‘It’s the ideal stocking filler,’ OUP’s Trevor Sparrow tweeted, ‘The death of Sir Jimmy unleashed such a flood of platitudes, clichés and innuendo, we just couldn’t let the opportunity pass us by. Anyone asked to pay tribute to someone they never got on with will find this dictionary a God-send. It enables you to make suitably eulogistic-sounding noises, without actually having to speak ill of the dead or confess you couldn’t stand the sight of them.
‘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, who found it difficult to allow people to get close to him,’ and be absolutely certain that everyone knows what you really mean is: ‘He was a talentless, publicity-hungry, jewellery-jangling, track-suited Jimmy No-mates, who, for some inexplicable reason, got lucky.’
The new dictionary will contain such gems as: ‘None of us knew the real him, perhaps he didn’t even know 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.’