SO, WHEN was the last time you talked about a youthquake?

“A what?” do I hear you cry? A youthquake – a word which, according to the Oxford Dicionaries, has become so much a part of our national language and culture they have declared it their Word of the Year.

You might not know – or use – it but you almost certainly understand what it describes.

The Oxford defines it as "a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people."

The dictionary says the word experienced a “fivefold” increase in usage in 2016 and 2017, partly due to the apparent impact the youth vote had on the general election’s outcome.

I can only recall having seen one usage of the word (in The Guardian), but we’re told its average annual frequency grew from eight per billion words in 2015 to a massive 48 per billion this year.

But its selection as 2017’s most important new word seems to be more politically-motivated than statistically-based.

Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries said: "We chose youthquake based on its evidence and linguistic interest… at a time when our language is reflecting our deepening unrest and exhausted nerves, it is a rare political word that sounds a hopeful note.

"Sometimes you pick a word because you recognise it has arrived but other times you pick one that is knocking at the door and you want to help usher it in. This past year calls for a word we can all rally behind."

Then again, their shortlist wasn’t much help.

The other eight words were: "broflake", defined as a man upset by progressive attitudes that conflict with his own; "newsjacking", using current events to promote a brand; "milkshake duck", a person or thing that initially inspires social media delight but is revealed to have a distasteful past; "white fragility", defined as a white person’s discomfort when confronted by racial inequality; “gorpcore”, utilitarian clothing worn for outdoor activities; “Antifa”, a political protest movement of groups affiliated by militant opposition to fascism; and “kompromat”, compromising information for use in political blackmail.

Even so, “youthquake” seems a long way from the selection of previous recent words of the year, such as “selfie” (whatever happened to that one…?)

So, in the spirit of the Oxford Dictionaries’ apparent randomness, I’d like to offer three completely made-up words dedicated to Bradford’s internet trolls and, in particular, those who leap at every opportunity to knock the city and any attempt to improve it in the Comments sections of the Telegraph & Argus website’s news pages.

Up first, I offer “Hinchcliffed”, which could be defined as “an insistence on blaming the incumbent leader of Bradford Council for everything they dislike, regardless of how unreasonable or how far beyond her control or remit.”

I’m not making any political point here – and Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe is more than big enough to stick up for herself – but the ridiculous list of things she is blamed for on a daily basis, from the colour of the sky to the election of Donald Trump, would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.

Secondly, I’d go for “tsimitpo”. Now a tsimitpo is not just a pessimist but the complete reverse of someone who looks on the bright side. A tsimitpo’s glass is not just half empty, but the beer’s flat and the glass is cracked and covered with someone else’s lipstick.

Finally, I’d like to suggest “autogripe”. To “gripe” is variously described as to complain naggingly or constantly, to grumble or suffer pain in the bowels. A list of synonyms would include whine, mutter, carp, rail or bellyache.

All of which fit the subjects under discussion like a glove. Hence an “autogripe” is someone who does all of the above automatically, apparently unable to stop themselves.

My message to all of them is: “Cheer up, for heaven’s sake.”

And, if they can’t, perhaps they could at least agree with my favourite word for describing the new Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year: B*ll*cks!

Plans to reinvigorate building deserve to be given a chance

SPEAKING OF internet trolls, the anonymous “autogripes” have been predictably quick to attack plans to convert the upper floors of the former Brown Muff & Co building in Bradford city centre into a 69-room aparthotel.

It’s the sort of scheme that would almost pass without a blink in cities such as Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, where they recognise that this kind of inward investment, bringing more options for people stay and spend in the city, is vital.

The planners rightly passed the scheme to bring an important building back to life but the “tsimitpos” have decided no-one will stay there because of “drinkers, druggies and prostitutes”.

It’s one thing keeping a constructive and critical eye on developments but another altogether to instantly slag off every new scheme without even attempting to weigh up the pros and cons. Shame on you, trolls!

Teenage courage shows why terrorism can't win

THE STORY of 15-year-old Eve Senior is one to warm the heart in the run-up to Christmas.

The dancer, from Queensbury, suffered 18 shrapnel wounds and burns to her leg in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack, as well as a severed nerve which forced her onto crutches.

Nevertheless, Eve was determined to take part in her dance school’s end-of-year show and fought hard through three operations to get there. It’s guts like that which show why terrorism will never win - and the whole city should be justly proud of her.