Whoever bestowed its name on the Watergate Building in Washington could not have dreamt of the linguistic gift that he, with the subsequent assistance of Tricky Dicky's minions, was making to posterity . How many "-gates" have we had since then? I suppose "Climategate" was the most recent big one. On the way into the city the other night I noticed a bright neon sign high over Flinders Street with the word "Canongate". Flinders Street is where St Paul's Cathedral is and such is the association that "-gate" has acquired in my mind that for an instant the idea occurred that some canon had been up to something dodgy. I expect Bishopsgate in London would have the same effect.

Though not involving bishops or canons there is a cause celebre with a clerical association gathering steam that I suppose could merit a "-gate"ship. L'affaire Slipper might qualify not only as "Slippergate" (which I haven't yet seen but give it time) or "Speakergate" but as "clergymangate", given that the Hon. Peter, Speaker of the House, is also the Rev. Peter, an ordained cleric in the Anglican Catholic Church of Australia.

25 April 2012

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