People across Britain have been issued with a shock warning to stay inside today as the worst air pollution in decades sweeps across the country. Anyone in the highest risk areas suffering from sore eyes, coughs and sore throats should reduce their physical activity and head indoors immediately, experts warned. A deadly smog cloud - which contains some of the worst air pollution seen in Britain for 60 years - is hovering right over the country. Read more >>
The cartoon by Paul Thomas from the Daily Express shows UK Prime Minister David Cameron sitting at his desk in Number 10. An official is handing him a report on the toxic smog. The joke is that the official himself is half-hidden by the smog.
The word "smog" was first coined in 1905 by one Dr H.A des Voeux of the Coal Smoke Abatement Society to describe the smoky fog, or "smog", prevalent in British cities. Smog is an example of a portmanteau word or "blend", when parts of two existing words are joined together to form a new one. Other examples include "staycation" (stay + vacation), and "phablet" (phone + tablet). The Economist has an interesting article on this linguistic phenomenon.