I came across a cracking portmanteau today. Meld Hope with Opium and you get Hopeium (or if you prefer, Hopium).

It is not evidently a neologism used on the street in a positive manner.

It crops up as a way of knocking what someone is thinking, generally questioning their mental faculties. As in, “Are you crazy? Are you on hopeium?” Where the hope held out for is a shamefully false one.

It’s a mythical narcotic. Bad for you. Being accused of indulging is meant to be a wake-up call to get real.

There’s even a designer that applies it to American post-Obama blues. Yes. We can buy the mousemat.

I’ve long encouraged my charges to be honest with themselves and brutally distinguish between a forecast and hopecast. This term cheekily adds more colour to the need to keep off the hopiates and out of the hopeium den.

A hopecast helps no-one. To avoid falling foul of the hopeium is to qualify better, and harder. To truly see things from your prospect’s perspective. The mechanics of this already perhaps take up several shelves of your local bookstore. So for now, let’s leave the tip at a ground-level doing more than crossing fingers, holding thumbs and trusting blind faith.

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