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9 July 2016

Word of the week: Atonyment

Each week The Staggers will pick a new word to describe our uncharted political and socioeconomic territory. 

By Julia Rampen

After the publication of the long-awaited Chilcot report, which documented some of the most shameful years of British foreign policy in minute detail, this week’s word, suggested by Anoosh Chakelian, is:

Atonyment (n)

The act of expressing deep sorrow and grief while wiping one’s hands of all responsibility. 

The word is primarily a shorthand for an emotion described by Tony Blair, when he said: “There is no inconsistency in expressing my sorrow for those who have lost their lives, my regret and still saying the decision is right.”

Usage: 

“He atonyed for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died since 2003.”

“He atonyed for the lack of WMDs.”

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“Has David Cameron atonyed for Brexit?”

Articles to read if you are in a state of atonyment:

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