niagaraishly (adv.)

It is not the first time I mention Stephen Fry in this little series of celebratory essays. “Celebratory of what?” you may well ask yourself. Well, in my opinion, the inventiveness of language users is as much cause for celebration as the versatility of language itself. People are constantly inventing new words – or new uses for an old word. Some people are better at it than others and some simply excel. Stephen Fry is of the last category.

The last time one of his neologisms was featured here, he still took several pages to establish the context in which the process of “unnatural recaffeination” made sense – hilariously, if you recall. This week it is only one sentence.

In the British comedy show “Absolute Power” Fry plays the CEO of a public relations company. He commands “a team of ambitious young agents who work in the dark art of repackaging black as white.” (BBC synopsis) In a Tuesday morning meeting creative and senior staff of the company discuss the possibilities – if not strategies – of “spinning Bin Laden” – or rather Bin Laden’s intentions of purchasing British Airways

At a particularly bad suggestion by one of his subordinates the boss replies incomparably,

“If the smell of rat gets any stronger I shall vomit niagaraishly.”

You must admit it is rather pictorial, if not picturesque.

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