(Roughly) Daily

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language / And next year’s words await another voice”*…

As we pivot into 2023 (Happy New Year!), a retrospective on the way that 2022– Ukraine, the economy, China, climate change, pivots at Facebook and Twitter, the lingering pandemic– changed our language…

The story of a year is sometimes easy to identify: the financial crisis of 2008, the Brexit-Trump populist wave of 2016 or the pandemic of 2020. The most wrenching event of 2022 has been the war in Ukraine, yet those earlier stories have lingered in the headlines. For language-watchers, all that meant much new vocabulary to consider…

[After considering a number of other candidates…]

After the lockdowns of 2020, followed, in 2021, by a slow return to the office, 2022 was the year that hybrid work settled in. Working at home some of the time has advantages (decongesting cities and fewer painful commutes), and disadvantages (fears of lower productivity combined with a sense of never being off duty). In the spring Twitter announced a policy of unlimited working from home for those who wanted it. When Elon Musk bought the company he promptly decreed the opposite. But most firms have not gone to either extreme, instead trying to find the best of both worlds.

As a coinage, hybrid work is no beauty. But it will reshape cities, careers, family life and free time. That is ample qualification for a word of the year…

From @TheEconomist: “And the word of 2022 is…

Here are some candidates for this year’s “word of the year”: “23 items of vital vocabulary you’ll need to know in 2023.”

And because it’s New Years Day, and it’s appropriate to look forward, not just back, some advice-like thoughts on 2023″: “Blank Page.”

* T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

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As we name it, we might recall that, on this date in 1995, the last installment of Gary Larsen‘s comic strip The Far Side (which had premiered on New Year’s Eve, 1979) ran. Carried by more than 1,900 daily newspapers, the strip was translated into 17 languages, and collected into calendars, greeting cards, and 23 compilation books; reruns are still carried in many newspapers. Indeed, after a 25 year hiatus, in July 2020 Larson began drawing new Far Side strips offered through the comic’s official website.

Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 1, 2023 at 1:00 am

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