You know how rude words are formed, right? A word is banned from polite society and thereafter, only the gauche dare use it (for a while).
This means that we have a mechanism if we are extremely sick of certain words and want a very long break from hearing them: all you have to do is clutch your pearls, grimace, or gasp next time you hear it, and if enough of us play along, pretty soon everyone-who’s-anyone avoiding such vulgarities.
Here are some terms I’m going to be fanning myself and bleeping out starting in 2021:
- “New normal” 🤢
- “Unprecedented” 🙄
- “Virtual” 🧓
- “Socially distanced” 🤬
- “Zoom,” as any part of speech. I don’t care if you’re talking about how quickly you plan to drive. Do not say this in mixed company!
- “Safe” or “safely” (see my previous post about people’s insane semantic drift on this one. It is and has been meaningless and we should be ashamed to say it.)
Will you join me? Remember, we can only collectively shun words if we act collectively.
What words will you be fleeing from next year?