New normal, new language

This has been a bugger of a year for obvious reasons but it’s also been a year of expanding our vocab – which a word nerd like me fully encourages and embraces!

In a matter of weeks, coronavirus fundamentally changed our way of living and working. It closed businesses, transformed working patterns, shifted our human interaction. As a result, new vocabulary appeared as a shorthand way to discuss the impact, articulate worries and poke fun at the craziness of the situation. Linguistic creativity is alive and well! (and is not uncommon in times of social crisis!) Collective cultural reference points work as a kind of uniting factor in times of trouble, and in the absence of regular social contact, shared talk is an important part of helping people feel connected.

So as we came to grips with the ‘new normal’ we figured out how to talk about the virus. And an explosion of new words and phrases entered our dialogue to help us make sense of the changes we experienced.

Covid-inspired words

Established terms such as ‘self-isolating’, ‘pandemic’, ‘quarantine’, ‘lockdown’, ‘unprecedented’, and ‘pivot’ increased in use, while COVID-19 neologisms were coined quicker than the rise in infections!
Some of these were:

  • infodemic (coined by the World Health Organisation to describe spreads of disinformation on the virus)
  • covidiot (someone ignoring public health advice)
  • covideo party (online parties via Zoom or Skype)
  • covexit (the strategy for exiting lockdown)
  • the ‘rona (slang for coronavirus)
  • quaranteams (online teams created during lockdown)
  • zoombombing (hijacking a Zoom videocall)
  • WFH (working from home)
  • blursday (an unspecified day because of lockdown’s disorientating effect on time).

I hope you found some good in this year, amongst the challenges and WTF moments. I know for me, that once I gave in to the ‘new normal’, once I stopped fighting against the beast, once I truly trusted that the universe would only deliver what it knew I could cope with and need, then I began to relax and, weirdly, enjoy the isolation.

Thank you so much for reading my blog this year. I truly appreciate every comment that’s made.

Next year is going to be a very different kettle of fish, and for that I am excited. I hope you are too.

Big hugs and stories to you and yours this festive season.

JJ x

ps. I’m putting down the lid on the laptop on 23rd December at 5pm until the third week of Jan…maybe a week longer, depending on how warm the sand is.
pps. If you have big ideas for a book or new business and need some help, you can always book in for a virtual coffee, or a real one if you’re Peninsula-bound.

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