Granted, humans may have stopped evolving, but not language! Ever fluid, in this, the lockdown era, words and phrases have continued to morph and metastasize in ways that would have been nearly impossible to predict only months ago.
Don’t be left out of the linguistic loop! Here are the top ten lockdown-era definitions you need to know about NOW:
While this term used to describe a psychological disorder, it's now considered derogatory, abusive, and unsuitable for use in safe spaces. Opt instead for one of its handy synonyms: health-conscious; considerate; politically correct.
(2) independent thinker
Another unsafe, highly dubious expression inappropriate for polite conversation, the term “independent thinker” fortunately has become increasingly obsolete. Synonyms: conspiracy theorist; risk to others; ostracized, unique.
While still generally positive in connotation, the modern-day definition of “safe” now incorporates a component of imprisonment or confinement, as in “safer at home.” Synonyms: quarantined; isolated; conditioned, agoraphobic.
While this term, at one time, suggested a seeking-out of knowledge and even wisdom, “informed” is now strictly limited in scope to consumption of mainstream media, primarily television, and is closely associated with the phenomenon discussed by Noam Chomsky and others known as "the manufacture of consent." Synonyms: gullible; indoctrinated; duped.
No longer the exclusive purview of introverts and outcasts, "lonely" is now both culturally appropriate and historically apt. Synonyms: socially distant; law-abiding; safe.
An archaic word (often associated with another antiquated term, "love"), "intimacy" - by best accounts - is thought to mean a reckless and revolutionary dynamic of deep and authentic connection with another living being; Synonyms: delusion; health hazard; reportable offense.
Another unsafe term not recommended for general usage other than by medical professionals (who almost exclusively utilize its antonym form, "unhealthy"). Synonyms: uncompassionate; untreated; unprofitable; sociopathic.
While formerly a medical term, "diabetic" (specifically, type 2 diabetic), is now one of the handiest signature tags of modern American culture. Synonyms: non-OCD; normal; profitable; cash cow (slang); fun.
No longer negative in connotation, "afraid" is now the gold standard of political correctness and social responsibility. Synonyms: health-conscious; safer at home; sheltering in place; informed.
(10) liberal (also: neoliberal)
Having undergone subtle but significant shifts in recent months, the political term "liberal" now describes those who are: (a) anti-Constitution; and/or (b) pro-surveillance. Yes, we know that's probably a little different from what you're used to from the left, but keep in mind, this is the pandemic left - and it's not martial law, it's viral law. "Liberal" synonyms: flaccid; docile; uncritical; impotent; limp.
And, finally, an extra BONUS term - arguably the single-most iconic evolutionary linguistic leap in history...
In case your spell-check hasn’t already caught on, “privacy” not only now has no meaning, but it's no longer even a word. Eliminate from your vocabulary ASAP - and stay safe, everyone!