SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Column - Commentary

Words of Comfort For These Troubled Times


April 05, 2020
Sunday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska -
The Oxford English Dictionary just released its list of new words for the first quarter of 2020.

jpg  Dave Kiffer

Speaking of which, why does Autofill think I want to write "Oxnard" instead of "Oxford?" Not the same. Not the same at all.

But I digress.

There are lots of new words, or perhaps new ways to use old words, to deal with, according to the venerable OED.

One of the new words I really like is called "anecdata" which means "Information or evidence based on reports of individual cases rather than systematic research or analysis; anecdotal evidence.”

In other words, a word that means "don't confuse me with the facts."

Also known as "RePosting from the Book of Face."

Natch, the most obvious hole in the lengthy OED list is words dealing with the biggest thing to hit our little blue dot floating in space since the "cat in clothes" meme, words about the Corona Virus.

Also referred to - by people who will soon die from it - as the "Beer Virus," the Corona Virus has been moving up the Popular Hit Charts - with a bullet, literally - and has completely taken over every facet of our thoughts and lives. Naturally, it has also generated its own language.

Since I live to be helpful, here is a quick and  hand-sanitized list of words or phrases that you may want to use in any appropriately socially-distanced conversation:

Fraycation – When the only thing worse than being told by the government to “hunker in place” is being told by the government to “hunker in place” with your family.

Zoomerwear - The reason that if you are attending a public meeting via Skype you do not stand during the National Anthem.

Fauxmites - Things that do not actually transmit the virus even though some people think they do. Such as Faux News or EmptySNBC broadcasts.

Hunkerpalooza – A moveable feast in which people who can barely play an instrument or sing suddenly think they are doing something useful by recording themselves and then sharing the “music” with all of their Facebook friends and LinkedIn contacts.

Wiperationing – When you start using less and less as you get to the bottom of the roll because you can’t be sure you will find a replacement.

Hoardmoan - The collective sound a group of shoppers makes when a new case of hand sanitizer is shelved and disappears in less than three seconds.

Antisocial distancing - Normal behavior for Norwegians, Scots, Doomsday Preppers, etc.

Pandamic  (var) -  An internet misspelling that is taking on its own life involving Kung Fu Panda  MC memes.

Shelf Quarantine - Step away from the Thin Mints!

Community Spread - What happens when people fail to step away from the Thin Mints or anything else from the snack hoard.

....and last but not least,

Covideo – A show so awful you would only watch it during a pandemic in which you expect yourself to die before someone questions you about why you watched it in the first place. For example,  “Cats.”

It is well and good to have a "Lingua Pestem" in order to communicate in these challenging times.

Stay safe.

Wash your hands.




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Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.

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