Sunday 6 December 2020

Buzz-words of 2020, Part II

Middle-class Brits are moaning about finding churches shut due to Covid.

The Chinese are “toppling” Buddha statues.

QAnon followers are refusing to wear masks because there’s no track and trace app for paedophiles. In fact the people telling you to wear masks are all paedophiles, not doctors.

Some Twitter accounts have very beautified profile pics – try checking against Facebook.

Bill and Melinda Gates have been replaced by actors, Granny Smith apples plant vaccine seeds in your brain and the government is harvesting our DNA from Covid tests.

Orwell backlash. (He was in the Burmese police!)

“Why does the mainstream media ignore the problem of asylum seekers?” (The Daily Mail has talked of little else for years.)

A child is now a “kiddo”.

Flag Twitter: people with Union Jacks in their profile. FBPE means “follow back, pro EU” but there are a lot of false flags.

People on Facebook are posting screenshots of entire Twitter threads.

To some, masks are “muzzles”, and free speech advocates don’t want anybody to be “muzzled”.

It’s so hot in Europe that the Brits are actually talking about installing air conditioning at home.

A Tory Brexiteer suggests “taking back Calais” to deal with migrants crossing the channel in dinghies.

“Yes but what IS ‘hate speech’ REALLY?” It’s like saying “What is truth?” when your cherished belief doesn’t check out when compared against reality. (Classic trolling.)

We need to revive the terms “lunatic fringe” and “cranks”.

People are falling for QAnon - anti-Semitism and all - because they think it’s radical and progressive.

blocky: blocking people on Twitter
try-harding: also via Twitter – something you mustn’t do when playing games

There are teaching platforms? Of course there are! Teachable, Canvas, GoToTraining. And anybody can write anything on – no editorial control?

You can always accuse those who disagree with you of being a “nice white lady” or “simpering rich lady”.

#ownvoices means “This story about a bisexual teenager was written by a bisexual teenager”.

A lot of people are tweeting about saying tortoise “tortoys”.

“All white people are racist” is back.

David Frost is trending and he’s not saying “Hello, good evening and welcome”.

How many soft Londoners have given in and put the heating on? (Via Twitter. Protestant guilt in a nutshell.)

Leftwaffe,  refuging, trauma response, nifty

It’s getting hard to tell the progressives from the authoritarians. Who has stolen whose terminology this week? (2020-09-01 “Authoritarian” may mean “But they’re telling ME what to do!”)

A Facebook discussion of QAnon conspiracy theorists in Glastonbury leads to “Am I anti-Semitic for criticising Israel? Israel is bad because...” And so on for several paragraphs.

complicity theorists (what conspiracy theorists think the rest of us are)

What happened to all those optimistic Covid poems predicting that when lockdown was over the world would be entirely different and we’d all be nicer to each other? (None appeared during Lockdown II.)

What happened to “all you have to do is stand like Superman and you’ll feel powerful and will be able to do anything you want”? Perhaps it didn’t work.

An experiment shows that many people think a message that ends with a full stop is “harsh and passive aggressive”.

Some silly white people are still trying to change the Black Lives Matter slogan because it’s not about them and they’re not in control. You see they ought to change it because some people might think it means white lives don't matter.

Cupcake or buttercup for snowflake seems to have gone out. I hope.

Facebook users refer to it as “Faceborg”. (Presumably they want to indicate “I’m not one of those awful redneck hillbilly chav Facebook users”.)

Lots of sneering about the UK Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change ahead of their report.

Footprint” used for “impact on the environment”. How can you have a “plastic footprint”? It used to mean “space a computer takes up on your desk”.

Some people even think they’re “aromantic”.

Cognitive dissonance” is being used for denial, contradiction and dishonesty.

Someone in government says that “law is just a state of mind”.

nodding along (“I nodded along to her unbelievable tale.”)

Nuance is as popular as ever. It can mean: "My statement can be taken three ways, so that I can always switch to one of the other meanings if you start producing disconfirming facts".

wellness influencers (“Influencers” and “viral marketers” are shills – some of them on commission.)

Spelling “more” “moar”.

You can’t just claim anything you want to do as a “human right”. There’s an official list.

It’s rumoured that people are leaving cities. A backlash asks “Is this a good idea? Is it even happening?”

Someone points out that “inclusivity” is a box you have to tick to get your funding.

I'm 76, and I don't want to live what remains of my life span in a state of cowering fear. I follow the regulations, but let's "carpe diem" and live each day fully, not frightened. (Mary Kenny in the Irish Independent. The right noises having been made, we can comply with the guidelines. See also the man who says he follows all the guidelines but thinks people shouldn't be coerced.)

We need “real leadership” on Covid, not “hysteria”. (I’m not sure what they want, but it isn’t “more restrictions”.)

Debate is an imperialist capitalist white supremacist cis heteropatriarchal technique that transforms a potential exchange of knowledge into a tool of exclusion and oppression. (Prof Sunny Singh. I think she means it. The 80s never went away. Isn’t this just “It’s unfair that men have logical minds so we shouldn’t use logic”? Again? Or "You won! You must have used rhetorical tricks!")

Covid cases are rising again, restrictions are back, and a company is plugging “Hope-filled messages to slot into books”.

A depressing number of people tweet anonymously that they have to implement ineffective reading schemes, or teach the works of incomprehensible feminist theorists as part of English Language A Level, and they can’t protest or they’d lose their jobs.

Some people have done the sums and worked out that, globally, white people are in the minority. They feel very threatened by this fact, and imagine that brown people are trying to “replace” us. Projection?

"Pearl-clutching neurotics" is used as code for “Covid believers”.

I don't think terms like 'PC' and 'cancel culture' are particularly helpful - largely because they assume that the direction of traffic is all one way when it comes to the censorious times we live in. For every left winger determined to take offence over some minor verbal transgression, there seems to be someone on the Right who wants to police our education system, or weed out "Marxists" (whatever they're supposed to be). (Yougov contributor.)

“Laugh at this hilarious video of a small child being humiliated and distressed!” “Laugh at this hilarious video of a woman grabbing a champagne glass and dropping her baby.” “What’s the matter with you, where’s your sense of humour?”

You gloyte! (They're lower than plankton, apparently.)

Oh dear, the most popular “influencers” on Instagram are the ones who peddle meaningless uplift of the “You can have anything you want as long as you want it enough” type.

A Republican senator tweets: Generic tweet for after the debate. Couldn’t be prouder to have Mike Pence as America’s Vice President. Thank you for standing for freedom.”

ultracrepidarian: someone who gives advice on subjects outside their knowledge or experience (Armchair epidemiologists, men who “see no problem” with gender-neutral toilets.)

Who's a "mad raving anti-British racist"? Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, for criticising Laurence Fox for being racist. (2020-10-14)

Coy is word of the week. (2020-10-15)

Most of us are missing normal life.

Interesting that the right doesn't seem to be talking much about Sweden's hands-off approach to Covid anymore. (Don Morrison. Sweden is imposing restrictions as cases rise.)

“People think drinking is a personality.”

A dear, sensible friend posts a meme and asks us to copy and paste, then adds: “DON’T tell me this is a phishing meme! I’m an adult and I know what I’m doing and if I want to pass on this meme I will! Anyone who tells me this is a phishing scam gets unfriended!” (It’s a phishing scam.)

“They just don’t know how to budget. Food is cheap.” (2020-10-22)

We can’t give free food to poor children because it might lead to communism. We can’t stop drawing pictures of the Prophet Mohammed because it would be a slippery slope. (Pure Jeremy Bentham. A British Museum spokesman calls it "where-will-it-end-ism".)

“The language of this book is very 90s.”

Dominic Raab was a member of a secret Facebook group called the Ultras that advocated bringing back workhouses. (

RIP James Randi (2020-10-22), and there’s an immediate backlash. “He was just a magician!” “Randi wouldn’t let me believe in my favourite brand of nonsense!” (And he didn’t just expose working-class mediums, charlatan faith healers and showman spoon benders, he criticised serious middle-class professors with their own university departments! Those departments are shrinking to invisibility – no findings, lost funding. I’d love to hear him on the subject of magical thinking and positivity.)

I had a brief moment on TV to challenge the miserable horror of turning antisemitism into a factional battering ram against the left. (@BarnabyRaine. The EHCR report is out and is damning, and Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party. Barnaby Raine is a Momentum member and “anti-Zionist”.)

Woke. Political Correctness. Cancel culture. Virtue-signalling. SJW. Snowflake. Identity politics. I guess “anti-racism has gone too far” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. (@Limerick1914)

People are still finding it “relaxing” to look at pictures of “beautiful” fan vaults.

That’s not anti-Semitism because... (Nov 2020)

"Cognitive dissonance” is being used to stand for the inconsistency, the discomfort AND what you do about it – denial, rationalisation etc.

6 Nov 2020 Words in the news: shenanigans, skulduggery, petulance, peevish. (@susie_dent)

Motorists whinge about cycle lanes taking up road space. Meanwhile it’s difficult to go anywhere in Hackney by bus or taxi as cars are banned from side streets. We can’t all ride bikes. Bring back the horse.

7 Nov Biden wins.
7 Nov RIP Jonathan Sacks.

Immediate parade-raining on Biden supporters celebrating, even from Trump loathers. Among warm tributes to Sacks, the odd piece of anti-Semitic bile.

Tailor” (verb) is popular Oct. and Nov. Seems to mean “make sure assistance only goes to those in genuine need and not to those who don’t deserve it”.

“Did they all have a meeting or is vacuous nonsense catching?” asks @hatpinwoman in response to a reference to “pregnant and birthing people”.

Intelligence agents working at GCHQ have launched a cyber-operation to disrupt anti-vaccine propaganda being spread by hostile states, says The Week. The wartime Rumour Department never closed.

Whatever happened to tempeh, kutia, freekeh and natto?

Q. “When did the one-minute silence become two minutes?” A. 1919. It has always been two minutes.

Bitter arguments about poppies on Twitter – more complex and intelligent than in previous years, but just as pointless. People wear poppies for the wrong reasons, they only wear them due to social pressure – meanwhile I can’t wear one because they have been co-opted as a symbol by the right. (Hang on – isn’t that social pressure? Presumably you don’t want to be lumped in with nationalists and neo-Nazis?) Someone makes the valid point that poppies have been commercialised – jewellers and T shirt makers send only a fraction of the price to the British Legion.

Trump refuses to concede.

Wokeness has become an arms race – there’s always someone out there woker than you, and the language policing resembles blasphemy laws. (Just like the 80s.)

More and more henhouses put in charge of foxes.

Vaccine hesitancy” is a thing, per the WHO.

Seamless, frictionless, oven-ready, sovereignty. (Still wrangling, December.)

“Yes anti-Semitism is bad and wrong but the problem in the Labour Party was exaggerated for factional in-fighting.”

There’s a lockdown puppy boom – especially those little fluffy things with humanoid faces. Look good on Instagram.

Migrants aren’t subject to lockdown rules, and they’re housed in 4* hotels." (They're being housed in World War II army camps.)

Latest whinge is “I hate it when interviewees say ‘Thank you for having me’.”

People are accusing each other of “seeing everything through the lens of... (something or other)”. Sometimes “prism”.

Depressingly, women and girls still think they have to come up with a witty put-down to a sexist remark. (“That’s rude!” or “What did you say?” will do. If they say “It was a joke!” say “But I’m not laughing.”)

And passive aggressive Brits are planning to go out wearing T shirts and masks with “amusing” wear-a-mask jokes. Others are boasting that they mutter “Stupid!” or “Selfish!” within the maskless person’s hearing. (Address them directly and say: “You need to pull your mask up – it goes over your nose”.)

“The Freeze Peach brigade” sneer those who are furious to find that free speech also applies to their opponents.

Corbynites compare their ex-leader to the other JC. (“He’s been crucified!”)

Luxury silk face coverings are available.

workation: Book a hotel room for a week and get some work done.

What is "the great Reset"? No doubt we'll find out.

More here, and links to the rest.

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