While most Americans can’t wait to get the vaccine and resign the coronavirus to the pages of future history books, it’s likely that many are also eager to part with certain pandemic-related words and phrases – hopefully never to be uttered again.
Whereas this time last year, many of these terms were rarely used in everyday conversation, it now feels as though every aspect of our lives is flooded with them. How we talk and communicate has changed significantly. These linguistic changes have been so profound that Merriam-Webster named ‘pandemic’ as its word of the year in 2020.
A poll by PRPioneer.com, a website which provides public relations and communications resources, of 3,700 (ages 18+) people revealed that ‘outbreak’ is officially California’s most detested word/phrase to emerge as a result of the pandemic. The ominous word, reminiscent of a horror film of our worst nightmares, may send shudders down your spine when hearing it on the local news.
In second place was the phrase ‘flattening the curve’, which respondents want vanquished from their lexicon forever.
The term ‘second wave’, which in pre-pandemic times could have easily been confused with surfing lingo, may now catalyze a bout of anxiety at the current situation we are facing.
Once used in a more upbeat, positive manner, the word ‘bubble’ emerged in the top five words that annoy the most. This is perhaps no wonder – being ordered to remain in one is not a fun experience.
Fifth place went to the word ‘unprecedented’ – this appears in nearly every news article published during these unprecedented times…
Other detested phrases included…
• ‘Herd immunity’ – this would probably more likely be associated with a wildlife documentary.
• ‘Coronacation’ – the least pleasant vacation known to the history of mankind.
• ‘Blursday’ – this can be any day of the week that feels exactly the same as the one(s) before.