A preview of tomorrow’s must-use words

Image credit: Casa Film Bar

Although I am very old now, I do enjoy making an occasional attempt to be hip, with-it, far out, and groovy by keeping au fait with modern parlance. Indeed, so assiduously do I study the in-words and must-use phrases of contemporary society that I find myself in the position of being able to predict tomorrow’s expressions.

And so, dear reader, without further ado allow me to share with you some pre-trend buzzwords crafted to fit today’s wholesome and tolerant online zeitgeist.

In the bad old days, when an explanation for something was retro-fitted after the fact we used to employ the dull Latin tag post-hoc. But who would bother to learn Latin these days when one can become President of the United States with only a pre-kindergarten vocabulary and the intellectual capacity of a dead amoeba? So instead, allow me to introduce backsplaining.

Whenever someone tries to tell us why they did something, we can roll our eyes and say, “Don’t backsplain me.”

Moving on, we come to the problem of education. This is the word we use for the process of ensuring that our children receive taxpayer-funded daycare for twelve years so that we can work uninterrupted in our delightfully spacious and thoughtfully designed cubicles. As such, it should be harmless.

Unfortunately, misguided people sometimes attempt to instill some slender modicum of knowledge into the empty heads of our pampered darlings and worst of all is when they attempt to imbue our children with a vague notion of mathematics. To deal with this, we can teach our children to exclaim loudly, “You’re trying to numsplain us!”

In our subsequent discussion with the school Principal we can convey our horror at the fact our child has been exposed to a numsplainer and threaten to shame the school across all our social media accounts.

Now let us consider the trauma induced by someone attempting to reason unfairly with us by use of facts. Should this inconsiderate individual be of the male gender then of course we can reach unhesitatingly for our already-popular mansplaining.

But, horror of horrors, what if the miscreant is female?

Imagine the following scenario: we’re happily explaining to our friends why we won’t let our darling children be vaccinated because we read in Better Homes & Gardens an article explaining that Nostradamus predicted vaccines would cause an alien invasion, eight different kinds of rectal cancer, and a compulsion to read pulp airport novels about vampires and teenage girls. Suddenly one of our dear female friends begins attempting to explain, using (gasp) facts, that our belief is incorrect.

Never fear: we shout instantly, “Stop factsplaining me!”

Moving further through the overgrown hedgerows of absurdity, if we should find ourselves in a situation where we’ve accidentally stabbed, shot, bludgeoned, or otherwise caused physical harm to another person and now they’re whining tediously about how much pain the trifling injury is supposedly causing them, we can simply say, “stop painsplaining.”

Let us turn now from our theme of -splaining and consider our current favorite all-purpose word: woke. This is purportedly intended to signify that the person in question has achieved greater insight than the average hillbilly; indeed, the woke individual has a superior moral perspective that allows them to condescend to, and dogmatically instruct, all lesser beings.

Let us canter with this delightful notion down the byways of self-indulgence until we reach the stage at which our woke individual has spent so much time informing others of the errors of their ways that their throat is sore, their vocal chords rubbed raw, and their attempts at speech now reduced to painful monosyllables. This person is now croak.

I offer these neologisms to the world for the edification and benefit of all, free and gratis, in the hope that they may contribute to our proud tradition of speaking before thinking and employing only the most obvious and trite stock phrases. For this is the righteous path shown to us by none other than the playwright John Webster who, upon hearing for the first time Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in which the eponymous hero declaims, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” simply rolled his eyes and muttered, “OK bloomer.”

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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