Countdown lexicographer Susie Dent has once again captured the public mood perfectly with her word of the day tweet.

The Conservative government announced yesterday (16 January) that they would abolish the BBC licence fee and freeze funding for the broadcaster by 2027.

The announcement comes at a time when the Conservative party is in turmoil over so-called patygate as numerous rule-breaking parties were believed to have been held at Number 10 during various stages of lockdown.

Entirely without coincidence, Dent’s word of the day today is the 14th-century word – sparple.

In a tweet, Dent explained its meaning: “Word of the day is ‘sparple’ (14th century): to deflect unwanted attention from one thing by making a big deal of another.”

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced pressure to resign after it emerged he attended a garden party and Number 10 in May 2020.

Threatening to scrap the BBC licence fee has been seen as many as a deflection tactic to take attention away from the PM and his conduct.

Many commended Dent for her topical commentary simply through her daily word choice.

One person wrote: “Susie Dent has probably been of the most on point political commentators of the last 2 years, simply through her ‘words of the day’. Nails it every time.”

Another, said: “Susie is my absolute favourite academic troller.”

Someone else commented: “Susie Dent is the most passive aggressive person on twitter and I’m absolutely all for it.”

One tweet read: “Prime Minister, you have been justly Dented.”

Boris has been told.

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