I seem to think that I have a fairly good vocabulary and, over the years have been accused of using a complicated word when “plain speak” would have sufficed (guilty as charged). Perhaps it has to with my parent’s insistence on developing our vocabulary, maybe a college major in English, or the result of voracious reading.
It’s with this background that I find myself struggling with the 21st century concepts and words that seem to bombard my email. In an email I received today from the Jewish Community Center Association there was a course titled “The Year of Intention” a series to empower early childhood professionals to lean into vulnerability…” Another offering was a conversation with a ‘resilience expert’ (I didn’t even know that was “a thing”). The session spoke about “rewiring attitudes and beliefs toward a common objective and create resilience through personal accountability and a different approach to adversity.”
There are so many words and concepts that have become common parlance over the past two years: “unanticipated risk, organizational resilience, diversification, unpredictability, situational awareness, economic stimulus, emotional contagion, high integration, Purell panic, social distancing, flatten the curve, elbow bump, zoom fatigue, and self-isolating.”
And don’t forget some of the neologisms (‘newly coined word”—see, I told you I like complicated versus plain) such as covidiot (someone who ignores public health advice), covexit (when you reemerge from isolation), maskne (acne resulting from mask wearing) emaskulation, coronageddon, coronacation, cornapocalypse, superspreader, or the very simple: the rona.
When you reflect, I’m sure that many of these words are now part of your common vocabulary.
One of the best parts of last Sunday’s JEA Gala was that you heard nary a “COVID word” in anyone’s conversation. It was almost as if the Pandemic was not a part of our lives…at least for a few glorious hours.
The conversation was flowing (as were the drinks), the food was delicious (everyone had their own basket), and the weather cooperated. It was clear that the thing we wanted, the thing we needed, the highlight of the event, was each other. And, for that short period of time, we were all ‘back to normal’ (define it as you will).
With all the new words and concepts we have learned during the past two years, it’s an old one that resonated at the event and continues to resonate: Savannah is a “supportive, engaged, community.” Those are words we can all understand.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
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