QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories


QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

USA: “Selfie” and “twerking” top the annual list of annoying words compiled by a US university. The words “hashtag” and the term “Mr Mom” also feature.

“Selfie”, a self-taken photo, often with a smartphone, led the way among the more than 2,000 nominations submitted to Lake Superior State University’s 39th annual list of words. US president Barack Obama took a well-publicised selfie with other world leaders in South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service last month.

“Twerk” or “twerking”, a sexually provocative dance move, came to prominence after Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Other words on the banned list include “Twittersphere”, “t-bone”, ”Obamacare”, ”intellectually/morally bankrupt” and anything “on steroids”.

People also tired of the suffixes “-pocalypse” and “-ageddon” used to make words such as “snowpocalypse” or “iceageddon”.


BRITAIN: One in five Britons has confessed to secretly stuffing rubbish in neighbour’s bins over the festive period.

Around 18% of households dump their excess rubbish into other people’s bins when theirs get too full over the Christmas and New Year period. However, three quarters said they would be annoyed if they were “bin-jacked” themselves.

About 72% said they were unhappy with their local council’s waste and recycling collection and 24% of the 2,628 adults polled admitted they were tempted to burn their waste.


JAMAICA: Jamaican police foiled an attempt to smuggle marijuana through an island airport in wheelchairs.

Two wheelchair-bound Jamaican men were arrested at Kingston’s international airport as they tried to board a flight to the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.

When the first man was stopped for security screening, police found nearly 8kg of pot stuffed inside the wheelchair seat. The other man in a wheelchair was stopped minutes later with nearly 2kg of marijuana hidden in fibreglass compartments in his carry-on suitcase.


WALES: Plans for a Welsh village to change the spelling of its name — so it would sound like “errr fart egg” — have been binned.

Varteg in Torfaen faced the prospect of a new monicker over a language gaffe made hundreds of years ago. In Welsh, there is no letter V — although the same sound is produced by the single letter F.

A consultation was launched over proposals to change the village’s name to the correct spelling of “Y Farteg”. However, it faced opposition from locals who feared the Welsh version would make them the butt of people’s jokes.


ENGLAND: A large sinkhole has appeared in part of the Peak District in Derbyshire.

The hole, which eye witnesses said measures about 49m wide, has opened up in the village of Foolow.

Caver Mark Noble, aged 58, from Eyam, said that he saw the hole during a walk on Christmas Day, but believes the land began to fall in the day before. He said he has explored the caves at Foolow in the past as huge cavities were left in the area from an old lead mine.


USA: A US politician has apologised after being quizzed by police for driving into a group of ducks outside a hotel, killing some.

New Hampshire representative David Campbell, of Nashua, says he accidentally ran over the ducks outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel. A witness called police to say he was feeding the ducks some biscuits when Campbell drove by, hitting them.

Campbell left the scene before police arrived and was questioned later.

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox