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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Laterally SpeakingNew Language for Lockdown

New Language for Lockdown

It’s now been nearly a year and our ‘stay at home’ routine has changed all of our lives including the way we speak. Here’s my lateral lock-down list of new words and phrases we can all use to describe life under the pandemic. Here are a few short ones to begin with…
Maskaraid: Stealing or borrowing someone else’s mask for your own use. So annoying, so inconsiderate…
Masking Meltdown: When you enter a shop and discover you haven’t got your mask—often a result of Maskaraid.
Quaranteen: A state of despair when forced to remain during lock down in the same house and domestic bubble as bored noisy teenagers or small children. Prolonged Quaranteening causes stress, panic attacks and indigestion.
Clock-Down: When it’s so boring that time appears to stand still during home isolation.
Serial Bingeing: When you are so obsessed with your favourite TV series on Netflix or BBC iPlayer that sleeping and eating take second place to watching. Following the storyline becomes an obsession that knows no bounds. Will they get away with it? Will he slip and fall off the mountain? Will the holiday romance turn out to be a genuine affair or a passing whim? Will she ever get over her childhood obsession with Julio Iglesias and chocolate digestive biscuits? You and I may not care, but to the serious TV serial fan these matters can be more important than life itself. They have to watch the next episode immediately the current one has finished and then stay glued to the screen for the one after that. Some serial bingers have been known to collapse into sleep-deadened oblivion with the TV remote still in their hand. Emergency services have even been called out to awaken neurotic addicts who remain glued to the telly even when the house is on fire or the bath has overflowed and flooded the kitchen.
Serial Nibbler: Normal people watch a film from the beginning right through to the end, but Serial Nibblers can’t do this. He/she is so impatient for something new that they never finish anything. Their eyes may be open but their brain is disengaged as they’re already planning what to watch next. This means they can go through over 100 films in a single day when only watching five minutes of each. Their lives are consequently restless and shallow and their dreams remain constantly unfulfilled as they will never know how anything ends. Pitiful…
Serial Killer: Someone who has already seen the current film or series but cannot resist informing everyone else as to what’s about to happen. Avoid this individual. They are dangerous co-habitants under lock-down stress.
Delivery Anxiety: Since most of our food shopping is now online, the arrival of the regular delivery van from Morrisons or Waitrose is the most exciting thing to happen in our narrow locked down lives. As the date of the next food arrival draws near, sufferers from Delivery Anxiety start to worry. Will those special sausages be ‘unavailable’? Will our favourite soup be ‘out of stock’ or worse still have been substituted for some inferior broth? Will the ‘Best Before’ dates be far enough ahead so we don’t have to consume everything within 24 hours?
Boxing: Not a domestic fist-fight as to who controls the TV remote, but the act of collapsing and folding the hundreds of empty cardboard boxes now littering the hallway. Since all our shopping is online, our house has now become Dorset’s main depository for cardboard boxes and packaging. I’ve got half a roomful of them—UPS, DHL and Amazon boxes which are so useful, I can’t possibly bring myself to throw any of them away. I ask myself: ‘at what point does a collection of empty boxes cease to become useful and become a toxic cardboard overload?’
Zooming Doom: It seems that nowadays every charity gathering, online business meeting and family get-together needs to be interactively zoomed so we can all see each other. But I don’t want to be seen all the time! In pre-zoom days, I used to be able to eat, scratch my nose, cook and read my emails dressed only in my underpants—all while speaking to someone on the phone which was a much more constructive use of my time. Now I have to be shaved, hair brushed and looking smart while we discuss anything from family gossip to potholes in the road. And never forget it’s a two-way link! You may be able to view me and my new shirt in full technicolour, but I can also see the extraordinarily hideous orange sunset picture on the wall behind you and your bookshelf full of trashy novels by Barbara Cartland. And I thought you were a smart intellectual? And isn’t that a copy of the New Kama Sutra next to the dirty coffee cups? My oh my… How embarrassing! You had better tidy it all up before the Church Council zoom meeting this evening. And a short slightly rude one to end with….
Maskhole: An idiot and a complete jerk who refuses to wear their mask on principle.

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