31 JANUARY 2004, Page 30

Our hemiocentenary

From Tom Livingston

Sir: While I am able to hazard a guess at the meaning of `hemiocentenary', as used by Geoffrey Wheatcroft ('End of the Etonians-, 17 January), it is hard to be sure of it, as the word doesn't appear to feature in any dictionary.

The only reference to it on Google and other search engines is that it was used in The Spectator in 1978. If it is an in-house word known to but a few, could you let the rest of us in on it?

Tom Livingston

Winchester, Hampshire