Being on holiday this week, I am taking even less interest than usual in the passing scene, but I was struck by the above word, which I caught on a news bulletin. It was used by Boris Johnson - who else? - to describe the actions of defectors from the Tory party to UKIP, who were, as it were, throwing themselves out of the window.
You can say what you like about Boris, but at least he's not afraid to use fancy words - no pandering to the demos from him. I remember another occasion when, in an interview with Paxman, he protested, 'I'm sure you don't wish to accuse me of Ignoratio Elenchi, do you, Jeremy?' This sort of thing certainly makes a change from the stultifying dreariness of most political discourse. In a world run by PPE graduates, Johnson is a lone classicist. This can only be a good thing. He also has that rare gift of making people feel a bit better, rather than worse, a bit cheered-up - the Ronald Reagan effect, it's a formidable weapon. He will probably be Prime Minister after the ignominious collapse of the Milliband government.