The other day I was reading the dictionary – because…yes, I really do have that kind of time [sigh] – and I was taking note of this year’s new words. It seems “they” came up with a few hundred new words yet they still seem to be missing some that are quite desperately needed.
It’s always fashionable to address fashion fashionably. Another way to put it would be that it’s always in style to address style stylishly. Thus each year must have this year’s just right word or words to go along with this year’s just right trend or trends. Personally I think the new “mom jeans” meaning unattractive women’s denim is as tasteless as “granny panties” from a generation ago but it probably will be the one to stick. If you’re going to lobby for a word describing ugly ladies’ fashion (that’s ugly fashion, not ugly ladies) somebody better be working on what to call those pocket linings that stick out below the equally unattractive shorts that are so short the longest part of them is the zipper. A positive citation from the fashion police is the new modifier “athleisure” to describe athletic wear that can be pressed into service as casual wear. Much more useful than the “hostess wear” of the 60s in an attempt to make people believe lingerie can be turned into formal attire with the indiscriminate use of costume jewelry.
Although “manspread” has been around for a few years it formally made its way to legitimacy this year. So now we have a word to describe sitting with one’s legs apart to take up too much space on a shared seat. But we still don’t have a word for the spread of humanity when a mom walks down a grocery store aisle pushing a shopping cart with two small children each holding onto opposite sides of the cart and attempt to pull cart, and mom, apart. I propose “familyspread” but I don’t see it catching on.
“Misgender” is the official term for calling an individual by a “noun, pronoun, or adjective that inadequately represents the person’s gender.” Inadequately? According to what I read the definition notes it is especially applicable when addressing a transgender individual but I know people who have been calling “ma’ams” “sir” and vice versa for decades especially when speaking on the phone representing a marketing firm and when the improperly addressed individual is a 3 pack a day smoker (sir for ma’am) or an anabolic steroid abuser (miss for sir). We still don’t have a word for calling an individual by a noun, pronoun, or adjective that inadequately represents when a person isn’t pregnant but is asked when she is due.
My favorite new word is an activity I had taken part in many, many times. “Al desco” is the long awaited, accepted term for eating lunch at one’s desk. This year’s most useful and most memorable new word. Now I think the only furniture related word we are missing is one for the impressions left in the carpet when you re-arrange your living room. I propose “furnident.”
That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?