A guide to what they’re really saying.
The Post Modern Dictionary explores the underlying meaning and assumptions of contemporary words and phrases. A little satire is used to expose the hidden meaning behind words which are deployed to promote a political agenda, close down debate or hide the real intention of the communicator. Here are some of them.
A gas contained by a thin layer of liquid.
Derivation: The term is used as a metaphorical description of the space occupied by a group of people who share similar views. Their singular outlook is reinforced by the validation of fellow-thinkers who inhabit the same bubble. The prominence of a groupthink bubble can be measured by the quantity of hot air generated within it. The thin veneer of liquid is unstable and maintains its form only when reinforced by self-validation. The liquid encasement often dissipates when contact is made with unfamiliar environments, including the real world.
Use: ‘She has no idea what real life is like. She lives in the Westminster bubble.’
Call out [Kawl-out]
To verbally hold someone to account for their words or actions.
Derivation: Historically, someone was ‘called out’ to perform a simple action. For example, it used to be common to ‘call out’ a plumber to fix a leaking pipe. In recent times, we have seen a revival of the once-popular tradition of public denunciation. ‘Calling’ someone ‘out’ has become an effective way for aggrieved people to denounce an opponent, without the cumbersome task of detailing their accusation. By performing this task in public, the subject of the ‘call out’ is answerable to an audience that acts on the accuser’s behalf. The subject is unable to defend themselves, through logic or argument, and is forced to seek redemption through a public display of contrition, issuing an apology and expressing the intention to ‘seek help’. This simultaneously establishes the accuser’s moral authority, creates an appreciative crowd and saves time.
Use: ‘I’m calling you out for your inappropriate behaviour. Say sorry.’
A disciple of Jeremy Corbyn.
Derivation: Like ‘Blairite’ or ‘Thatcherite’, one who follows the principles of Jeremy Corbyn is typically known as a ‘Corbynista’. The term is a conflation of ‘Corbyn’ and ‘Sandinista’ (a devotee of Nicaraguan revolutionary Augusto César Sandino). Not to be confused with ‘Guardianista’ (a person who believes that the Guardian offers quality journalism) or ‘barista’ (someone who prepares expensive, coffee-based beverages for high-street chains). Corbynistas are typically middle-class and fond of craft beer. Keen to display their socialist credentials, they enjoy seeking out potentially offensive remarks on Twitter while feigning an interest in grime. Accomplished Corbynistas appear radical and progressive without the necessity of reading about or understanding socialism.
Use: ‘That bearded man in the skinny jeans and plaid flannel shirt is almost certainly a Corbynista.’
A person or company that makes small quantities of products using old-fashioned techniques.
Derivation: The term ‘craft’ is added to everyday commodities to demonstrate that they have been created using ancient methods or recipes. Simple products, such as beer or bread, are thus transformed by adding the term ‘craft’. The consumption of craft products generates feelings of enhanced self-worth deep within the consumer. Inflated prices are justified by the beneficial psychological effects. Marketing standard products as ‘craft’ products follows a long-standing tradition of re-inventing tradition to sell ordinary goods. ‘Craft’ was first heard in the rural idyll of Shoreditch, London, in 2012. It is now in common usage throughout fashion-able urban areas and Waitrose supermarkets.
Use: ‘Our craft beer is hand-woven using traditional hops. It is personally served in bottles using a material first created by Phoenician sailors 4,000 years ago.’
Hashtag activist [Hash-tag Ak-tuh-vist]
An opinionated person whose primary activity is the utilisation of Twitter. Also known as #activist.
Derivation: The term hashtag activist was coined to describe people who have a lot of spare time on their hands, access to a smartphone and solidified opinions. #activists eschew persuasion and discourse and embrace the promotion of a set of limited ideas. The primary role of the #activist is to create an impression that their viewpoint has widespread popularity by exploiting the retweet function on Twitter. Traditionally, activists measured their success by the number of people who were convinced by their ideas. #activists avoid this laborious task by simply counting their number of retweets. The collective noun for #activists is twitchfork mob.
Use: ‘I noticed he tweeted #MeToo yesterday, but to be honest I think he’s a bit of a hashtag activist.’
Hate crime [Heyt Krhaym]
Politically loaded noun
A hate crime is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
Derivation: Hate crimes were enshrined in law to ensure that motivation can be considered as an aggravating factor in the prosecution of crimes and alleged crimes. For a crime to be categorised as a hate crime, it merely has to be reported by someone who believes that it is one — either to the police or on a website. It is now officially recognised that hate crime statistics can be used as a proxy for measuring the level of ‘hate’ in society. Left-wing political scientists have demonstrated that hate crimes have risen since Brexit. In this way, they are able to gain support for political programmes which are ‘against hate’. This includes a second EU referendum and restrictions on free speech.
Use: ‘The rise in hate crimes since 24 June 2016 shows that the Brexit vote was fuelled by racism.’
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© Andy Shaw,16th November 2017