A report out today shows several shifts in the way the public perceives 'isms', the funny little suffixes that are added onto other words to make something sound more important.
The newest 'ism' on the scene is 'colorism'.
This word came up recently when black actor, Will Smith, was chosen to play the part of Richard Williams in a new movie about the father of tennis-playing Serena and Venus Williams. Smith is black, but not black enough for some, who say casting Smith as Williams is a case of colorism.
Yes, that's right; I'm serious.
If Mr. Williams had been chosen to play himself, a cry might have gone up of:
"Favoritism!" or "nepotism!"
If Tom Hanks had got the part, it would have been:
The report highlights the way people have a tendency to add an 'ism' onto more-or-less any subject to grab others' attention, and to deliver the message:
"Listen to me! I know what I'm on about!"
But this isn't necessarily the case.
Terrorism, sexism, feminism, heroism, consumerism, cronyism, hooliganism, socialism, communism, Marxism, and existentialism are widely-used 'isms', but newer forms - seemingly, more everyday - include transgenderism, organism, opportunism, catechism, botulism, and Islamism.
Globalism is also relatively modern - the effects of modernism? -
whereas patriotism, nationalism, and, of course, Trumpism are all now used widely, and, worryingly, in sinister ways.
The report's compiler, Robert Jism, said:
"I'm not sure whether these results indicate optimism or pessimism for the way language is going. I think there are too many - it's saturism."