While almost every American can’t wait to get the vaccine and resign the coronavirus to the pages of future history books, it’s likely that many of us 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 across America, it now feels as though every aspect of our lives is flooded with them. From work chats, social media, newspapers and magazines, to the new season of Grey’s Anatomy, which is set in the midst of the pandemic! However, language constantly evolves and how we talk and communicate has changed significantly over the past year. Indeed, 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 Arizona’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.
Top 5 pandemic-related phrases detested by Arizonans are:
- Flattening the curve
- Second wave
In second place was the phrase ‘flattening the curve’, which respondents want vanquished from their lexicon forever. Thought we left calculus in high school…
It also appears we are not fond of the term ‘second wave’, which in pre-pandemic times could have easily been confused with surfing lingo, perhaps. Now, however, the term may catalyze a bout of anxiety at the current situation we are facing.
Fourth place went to the word ‘unprecedented’ – this appears in nearly every news article published during these unprecedented times…
Once used in a more upbeat, positive manner, the word ‘bubble’ emerged in the top 5 words that annoy the most. This is perhaps no wonder – being ordered to remain in one is not a fun experience!
Other phrases we detest included…
‘Herd immunity’ – this would probably more likely be associated with a wildlife documentary on Netflix!
‘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.