We are all speaking a different language today. Call it Corona Ebonics.
All of a sudden we speak about flattening the curve, zooming, and pandemics. Our language is changing overnight, or at least our use of it is. Quarantines are all the rage and self-isolating is popular too. People are sheltering in place and they are always disinfecting. We all social distance, right?
What else will become popular in our lingo? As things worsen, we will speak more about death and unattended funerals. As things improve, we will hear about economic rebounds and surges. I imagine whole new words to reflect our conceptualization of life today will develop. Why wouldn't language change irrevocably, just as our world is?
Our language is going viral, so to speak. We are discussing things differently because life is different. Heck, I can't watch a movie or old TV show without looking at things differently. It seems like a different era, when people used to be near each other and could touch one another or breath the same air. When did that become a romantic fantasy -- to just be in the same room as another without worry of disease?
When this is all said and done, we will have changed as a people and our language will reflect that. For now, we speak in negative and defensive terms, but perhaps as we get closer to seeing improvement we will find new ways to express joy, love, and prosperity again.
One can only hope.