Whoa, Trigger! Washington Coins a Term

`OFFICIAL Washington'' - that world champion coiner of $64 words has done it again. The new jawbreaker: detriggerization. It means, more or less, what Washington thinks will happen to this year's budget if Congress can make the budget clock run backward.

Here's the derivation. Congress and President Bush ``triggered'' the automatic budget cuts mandated by the Gramm-Rudman law when they failed to agree by midnight Oct. 16 on cuts that were as deep as the law required for the 1990 federal budget. Bureaucrats in all branches of government immediately referred to the triggering of the automatic cuts as ``triggerization,'' - a word that might more understandably seem to mean adding Roy Rogers' horse to a movie scene.

Now members of Congress are talking about belatedly enacting cuts in the budget that are different from the automatic ones. If they do, and if President Bush agrees to their proposals, the automatic cuts that have been triggered would no longer be in effect. This, in ``Washington Speak'', would be removal of the trigger - the budget cuts, not the horse. In other and even less-understandable words: detriggerization.

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