back to article Glassholes, snapt**ts, #blabbergasms, selfies and PRISM: The Reg's review of 2013

"Selfie" is the Oxford English Dictionary's word of the year. There's nothing new about a "selfie" - it's a self-portrait - but a perfect storm of social networks and smartphones has given popularity to a word and an act even world leaders feel it's OK to do on really serious occasions. In keeping with a long tradition here at …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >In keeping with a long tradition here at The Reg, we came up with a few new words of our own in 2013: Glasshole and blabbergasm were our best.

    Urban Dictionary entry for 'Glasshole' is dated 20 Feb 2013. Searching for " glasshole" returns no results prior to then. has recently used it, too:

    1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge


      Glasshole is actually 8 or so years old. It was formerly used by American glider pilots who flew metal and wooden airframes as a put-down for those flying more modern German glassfibre gliders.

      This usage is now obsolete.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Glasshole

        I prefer "glassticles" for the gootard variation on the theme.

  2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


    "Maggie Thatcher, the Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post-Office mobes"

    I'll think I'd prefer a drab post office mobe over and above what else that woman did

    Ding dong the witch is dead

    Ding dong the witch is dead

    Tramp... because thats what that woman did to a lot of people

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Hmmmm

      She did a lot for the air quality in South Yorkshire

      < hovis advert music > I remember when all these fields were factories .....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmm

        I'd be more inclined to say it was that pillock scargill and the trade unionists.

      2. Les Matthew

        Re: Hmmmm

        He may have been a pillock, but he was right.

  3. Thomas 4


    J could also be for Jolla, given that the newest incarnation of Meego made its first handset debut a couple of weeks back.

    Also, key lime pie is seriously frigging tasty and blows lemon meringue out of the water. P=

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Alternatives?

      > Also, key lime pie is seriously frigging tasty and blows lemon meringue out of the water. P=

      Oh hell YEAH. Especially when you get real Key Limes... one of the (few) benefits of living in Florida.

      > relatively few people know, or have tasted, Key Lime Pie

      I had no clue WTF "froyo" was, and still haven't tasted any, so that's not apparently a decision point.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Alternatives?

        Especially when you get real Key Limes

        I'd say only when you get real Key Limes. That translucent green goo sold (criminally) as "Key Lime Pie" by restaurant-supply companies is fairly dreadful and nothing like the real thing.

        And IMO a really good handmade lemon meringue gives KLP a run for its money, but tastes differ.

  4. Amorous Cowherder

    The hashtag future?

    "The # started 2017 as a way to link conversations on Twitter and based around actual events like #WWDC or #Doctor_Who. 2013 saw the # finally bankrupted."

    So it started in the future and fell backwards through a timewarp? Perhaps there's hope if we kill the bastard to who started it when we get to 2017?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    L is for #Loser

    social marketing “experts” embarrassed themselves and singer Susan Boyle by coming up with #susanalbumparty to promote the singer’s latest work.

    You think that was a mistake? It's a very effective piece of marketing: At the end of 2013 it's still getting media coverage.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: L is for #Loser

      I don't think it's selling very many ana- err, albums though, meaning it's still a failure.

  6. Darryl

    I thought it was funny that the OED chose 'selfie' as their word of the year, and today, the University of Michigan chose it as the most annoying word of the year, according to their 29th annual list.

    I'm leaning toward agreeing with the UofM on this one.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      'annoying' and 'near ubiquitous' are not mutually exclusive... often the opposite, in fact!

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      University of Michigan chose it as the most annoying word of the year

      Does UofM publish such a list, or are you thinking of the one from Lake Superior State University? (LSSU is a university of Michigan, but not the University of Michigan.)

      LSSU also have "hashtag" on this year's list.

  7. Jonathan Richards 1

    You'll want to get that the right way about:

    Acer’s Wang fell on his sword

    ... so much better to contemplate than the other way around


  8. Gene Cash Silver badge

    H is for “H”

    To quote a couple US-centric items, there was Spike Lee who tweeted "George Zimmerman's address" which actually turned out to be an elderly couple who sued his ass off. There was also Reddit misidentifying a student as the Boston Bomber. I guess they were lucky he committed suicide instead of calling a lawyer.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: H is for “H”

      There was also Reddit misidentifying a student as the Boston Bomber. I guess they were lucky he committed suicide instead of calling a lawyer.

      To be fair, it seems likely that Tripathi committed suicide before the false accusations, and probably before the bombings as well - he'd been missing for a month then. Still a vile, if entirely unsurprising, thing for social-media users to do, of course.

      There will be more of these; there's no way to prevent them. Moving the witch hunt to the comfort of your living room (or mom's basement) just makes it that much more convenient.

  9. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    A is for Accessorize

    Accessorize is a chain of bling/tat shops for "ladies" accessories such as cheap earrings, belts, chav scrunchies and other rubbish and has been trading a for a number of years. So my wife tells me.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    1. Matthew 3

      But you bothered to scroll to the end of the last page, go to the comments, login and post a reply?

      Very odd.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Not odd at all, Matthew 3.

        You only login to post a reply? I find that odd in itself. There is no need to read all the pages. Hit the "end" key on the first story page, enter personal observation/comment in the commentard box, and be done with it.

        It ain't the article[0]. It's the daft premise. IMO, anyway.

        [0] Well, it is, partially ... six fucking pages? Why? What's the point[1}?\\

        [1] Y,y,y, I know ... page hits. How plebeian.

  11. Chris G Silver badge


    Strictly speaking that would mean 'to remove windows'. It would be more accurate I think to say exfenestration, as in exit.

    From :


    a prefix meaning “out of,” “from,” and hence “utterly,” “thoroughly,” and sometimes meaning “not” or “without” or indicating a former title, status, etc.; freely used as an English formative: exstipulate; exterritorial; ex-president (former president); ex-member; ex-wife .

    Also, e-1 , ef-.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Defenestration

      Although if you removed the window by throwing someone through it then that would count.

    2. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      Re: Defenestration

      Strictly speaking, "literally" means a thing which is true in a direct sense, while "figuratively" means something which is only true in a metaphorical sense. However, that battle has also been lost this year.

      Meanwhile, defines defenestration as:

      1 : a throwing of a person or thing out of a window

      2 : a usually swift dismissal or expulsion (as from a political party or office)

      So, if Ballmer happened to be thrown of out a window (possibly due to a bounced chair rebounding back on him), he would be doubly defenestrated, in both cases literally even though one literal definition is also figurative.

      Confused yet? English is a hell of a language!

    3. Pookietoo

      Re: Strictly speaking that would mean 'to remove windows'.

      It means what it is commonly used to mean, and has been for several hundred years.

  12. Christopher Slater-Walker


    "By the end of 2013 was getting market down by analysts concerned by growing competitive pressure from the cloud while investors fell CEO Larry Ellison wasn't worth his remuneration and in a symbolic vote rejected annual package of nearly $80m."

    Who wrote this stuff? And did anyone proof-read it? It doesn't look like it.

  13. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    Making a monkey out of it?

    Microsoft was a serial offender with its son-of-Hotmail sinking

    Or just going ape when things broke, in a very Pratchett stylie?


  14. AB

    If I were the religious type, I would be inclined to hope that there would be a special place in Hell for the likes of Elop, where demons hit him in the face with tiles (ceramic, not live) and promise him that they won't hit him with tiles and then hit him in the face with tiles again, then sell him to other demons after promising not to do that.

  15. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Google developers manage to mimic surprise

    The kicker is that Google’s engineers can’t explain how the servers have learned to spot the differences


    I don't know what's worse: Google's pathetic and undeserved self-promotion in this non-story (admittedly common with many organizations), or the lazy foolishness of the tech press in refusing to do any research to refute it.

    Pretty much all non-trivial machine-learning models have internal parameters that can't be derived from the output. What do you people think the "hidden" in Hidden Markov Model means? We've used models with latent variables and hidden states in software since at least the early '60s (with multilayer perceptron networks). There is nothing new here.

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