(K. Brent Tomer),
CHOOSING the “word of the year” can be an unenlightening exercise. The last several years have seen language mavens and dictionary publishers pick an emoji (the one meaning “crying with joy”), “because” as a preposition (because teenagers), and “hashtag” (as in “I’m so happy, hashtag irony,” to signal a hashtag in speech). Most are probably passing fads; a “word of the year” should ideally both summarise the feel of the 12 months and have a chance of surviving.
If recent years have offered slim pickings, that is certainly not the case of 2016. Last year gave the English language an unusually big crop. Take “adulting”, an unlikely verb used by younger millennials to describe the joys of paying rent and making it to work on time and sober. Memes circulate online with the likes of a picture of a puppy lying passed out on the floor under the text “I Can’t Adult Today. Please Don’t Make Me Adult”. With slang rising and falling faster than ever before, though, it is anyone’s guess whether adulting will survive as long as it takes for its users to become seasoned grown-ups.
The same short shelf-life might be…Continue reading