“Gradually and surreptitiously this Orwellian transformation has begun… The power of nonsense words is pretty astonishing and is not at all limited to the pandemic…
But this time was slightly different. The lady at the other end of the line said something I couldn’t quite believe but considering the year we have had no amount of silliness can really surprise me anymore. Before we hung up, she said, “Stay safe.”
For context, this was not my mother worrying about my health, nor was it my doctor or a corona track-and-trace person inquiring about a suspected infection; it was a very regular arrand for a very standard delivery. Mundane. It had nothing to do with corona whatsoever, but she (or perhaps her bosses at this woke and caring company) felt an urge to wish me not happy birthday or happy holidays, but happy pandemic. Stay safe. It’s a dangerous world out there, and I just want you to know that our empty fake words are with you.
Gradually and surreptitiously this Orwellian transformation has begun. In June I wrote about the odd phrasings we had started to use about the pandemic:”