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Language in the time of Corona

Language in the time of CoronaNew realities impacting the language we often speak and hear
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Language as a means of communication is not a disparate construct from the society and the world we live in. Thanks to the Internet, we are even...

Language as a means of communication is not a disparate construct from the society and the world we live in. Thanks to the Internet, we are even closer to world lingo and goings on, like never before.

Unless you've been living under a rock (which might just be a great thing in these times!) you'd know that there's a global malady on the loose. Corona Virus affliction could well have christened the era before it as BC (not the expletive variety) – Before Corona! This because, life, in case you haven't noticed, hasn't been the same since Covid-19's arrival in the world.

With it, has arrived a concomitant adaptation, changes and usage of the language we speak and hear.So there is 'pandemania' to denote this obsession with this pandemic, especially on social media, what with all that internet and time at hand. Wehave also since become 'isolationists' and are under 'quarantine', 'self-isolation' or even 'self-exile' (rather extreme I know!) to imply rightly staying indoors and avoiding or restricting contact with people and the outside world to ensure an absence of crossing pathswith the virus. All this for,'social distancing' wherein one avoids meeting people, handshake and obviously a hug is a no-no, this when we are active, like never before, on each other's social media all the time!

As the world shuts itself down and in, some 'covidiots' will flout all rules possible of a lockdown and endanger their as well as their family and neighbours lives too. Urbandictionary.com, which coined the word explains, "someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety". On the other hand, there are 'covidients' who will follow all the precautions and rules to ensure safety of all. These portmanteaus that appeared in the urban dictionary and elsewherelater, are often found in Social media mentions.

While the world grapples with the invisible enemy with balcony concerts, reaching out through social media and video calling, there is also a new twist being given to the language, just in jest. Sample the Urban dictionary meaning of social distancing as a way of avoiding people you didn't want to meet but don't want to sound rude. 'Sorry, I can't meet today, I am practising social distancing!' There are those terms now that occur more generously in our conversations as well. Terms such as 'zero patient'also known as an index case, and is used to describe the first person infected by such an outbreak. Asuperspreaderon the other hand, is a person 'infected with any such microorganism, who transmits it to an unusually large number of other people.'

I leave it to you to gauge the oft confused, relevant but usual terms 'infectious' and 'contagious'; and the difference between an 'outbreak'and 'epidemic' and a 'pandemic'; Of Dalgona Coffee, a current social media rage, am sure you would have found out, and tried whipping it, for sure by now! Stay safe and indoors, don't be a, 'you know what'!

Of Dalgona Coffee, a current social media rage, you would have found out, and tried whipping it, for sure by now!



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