?`s and ANNEswers

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Word of the Year

In November, Dictionary.com announced that its word of the year was ‘complicit.’ Other words in the running included ‘intersex,’ ‘horologist,’ and ‘totality.’ And, of course, there was ‘fake news.’

These words aren’t part of my everyday world, but there are a few phrases that have become de rigeur these past three weeks.

For instance, when I bemoan my lack of physical activity, I hear “Just be patient; it’s temporary.” Or “It’s a process, you know.” When I ask how long something typically takes, the default “Everybody’s different” raises its hand.

Perhaps the speaker doesn’t know what to say to be helpful and resorts to pat answers. In other circumstances, I’m guilty of doing the same thing. But now that I’ve heard these phrases regularly of late, I intend to retire them from my own lexicon.

Maybe we can retire “fake news” too.

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