Word Up



Words words words.....what were the buzz words of 2016


Deciding what are the words of the year is quite a subjective task. The Collins dictionary 'Wordophiles' (My entry for made up word of the year) have suggested 'BREXIT' obviously, and 'JOMO' or the joy of missing out. And the very random'SNOWFLAKE CHILDREN' describing the use of left over embryos to create a child who's parents were not the original cell donors. Sounds very dystopian and not the kind of thing your always dropping into banter.

Like I said all very subjective choices apart from the universally acknowledged winner which has to be 'Brexit'. So I had a think about the other words that I have heard more and more over the last twelve months, and have somehow now weaselled their way into everyday use.

The first word that comes to mind is 'Mansplaining' for you ladies reading this I'll explain......calm the fume ladies, I'm joking. I won't repeat the word as it's a condescending term implying females don't understand complicated stuff, so we men have to simplify it for the girls to get it. Phew! Controversial or what.

Moving quickly on, next comes 'Pivot' or to alter course without explanation a popular term from this years American elections. In these pragmatic times, in business being nimble with your focus is the key. Or when something's not working change direction. pivot was one of the buzzwords of the election Trump became the master of switching focus and dropping unfavourable policies at the drop of a hat.

Donald Trump was also responsible for possibly my favourite new word this year. He described his vision for the future as 'Bigly '. Where did he get that from, I thought then I read that its actually in the dictionary, it means in a big manner or a swelling blustering manner. How appropriate and oh so Trumpish, Then there was 'Throwing some shade' or what we might describe as slagging someone off. It's a very urban way of dressing up a slight. And dressing up is a theme of this wordy year. Trump again gave the word 'beautiful' and 'yuge' a whole new twisted meaning. Just like in the story of The Emperor''s New clothes. He dressed up his controversial plan to build a wall across the Mexican border as a beautiful thing. He was fond of couching his proposed new American order in terms of it being 'Yuge'an Echo of his New York rooots or as a beautiful thing. However as the author Margaret Wolfe Hungerforde might repost with her most famous quote. 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'.

2016 has been such a tumultuous year. It's not only the history books that are being rewritten so are the dictionaries. Their are just not enough adjectives. I saw a Tee shirt earlier this year it's slogan read 'Every Summer Has A story'.... I mean, 2016 where do you begin. You need new words to describe the seismic shifts in the tech tonic plates that underpin our society. Perhaps I can suggest one particular old phrase that Trump and these new masters of the universe should have suitable tattooed about their person. It's what a Slave would whisper to a Roman general returning in victory to Rome — 'Memento Mori' translated it means 'remember thou art only a man' why create new words when old ones can be far more appropriate.

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