Horrible New Word For August

While searching for images of midgets, I glanced at a Q & A thing about which word is correct to use for Little People. Someone complained that the very question implied an “othering” of the group under discussion.   Uh-oh!

Today, in an essay about the obvious racism behind the right-wing attacks on health care reform, I read that:

“This noise is about race. It is about “othering” a President who is seen as a symbol of white dispossession: dispossession of white hegemony, white entitlement, white expectation, and white power, unquestioned and unchallenged from the darker skinned other.”

Yeah, baby! I couldn’t agree more.   But “othering” is going to be hard to beat for the title of most awful new buzzword. Ugh!

Who would like to nominate another linguistic crime or misdemeanor?

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24 Responses to Horrible New Word For August

  1. skye says:

    I’ve been feeling a lot of disdain for “steez” which is cropping up all over the shop, almost replacing my old most hated “vint” (which I have complained of here more than once) – but othering is the WORST bit of usage I’ve heard for an age. Awful!

  2. Jimmy P says:

    Although not as a high as “othering” in the grimacing league, reading, in Pynchon’s new book, the word “stewardii” as the plural for “stewardess” took me beyond wince-threshold – mainly because he uses it several times and not as one-off, throw-away, mildly-amusing affectation. The book starts off in Santa Monica, so maybe it’s an LA thing (or is that ‘thang’?).

  3. yikes ‘othering’ is quite a hideous term. I’m all for the ‘othering’ but think what’s wrong with anti or not as a pre-fix – or does that scare people i.e. anti-mainstream or not mainstream – what about the word challenge e.g. a challenge to the norm that has been the white middle class centric perspective of the US for too long.

    Disney – is that a linguistic crime?

  4. honeypants says:

    The whole time, I was waiting to read about a new word for “August,” the 8th month, and wondering why a month would need a new name?! I’m such a dingbat sometimes.

    Othering is bad, and it reminds me of office used as a verb, which is nothing new, but equally awful, IMO.

  5. WendyB says:

    Too close to “mothering” and “smothering.”

  6. Ann says:

    Othering? Oh no. That won’t do at all.

    And Honeypants! I’ve never heard “office” used as a verb and I hope I never do! I have the same dread for “traffic,” when used as a verb.

  7. Danielle says:

    …it would sound more impressive if they’d just talk in terms of xenophobia!

  8. Sounds like a scary movie, “The Othering.” “Actually” used to bug me a lot when I had to answer phones, as in “Hi, actually I need to speak to…”

  9. Polly says:

    guestimate *shudder*

    I know it was all over tv ages ago, but people I KNOW are actually using it now.

  10. David Duff says:

    “the obvious racism behind the right-wing attacks on health care reform”


  11. Sister Wolf says:

    Skye – What is “steez?” I think I saw that once!

    Jimmy P – It sounds like he fell in love with his own word. Very sad. Is this Jim as in Jim, by the way??

    Make Do – Yes, I think it is, in the same way as “Miramax.”

    Honeypants – Haha! It’s my confusing syntax, not you! Let’s think of a horrible word for August.

    WendyB – Yep, that too.

    Ann – Office as a verb?!?! Jesus!

    Danielle – That’s too old school, it wouldn’t do at all, plus it’s too direct.

    fashion herald – I have a friend who HATES “actually.”

    Polly – Guestimate is always sickening, like “ginormous.”

    David – So what’s your word…is it “eh?”

  12. Mimi says:

    “Othering” is quite an old concept, usually dated as a key feature of Hegelian philosophy, describing the embattled relationship of Self (one’s consciousness of who one is) to the Other (which could be various entities).

  13. Sister Wolf says:

    Mimi – AH, well, to those of us outside academia, it sounds awful, kind of like ‘heteronormative.’

  14. I hate othering too, but “impact” as a verb really irritates me.

  15. Sister Wolf says:

    Iheartfashion – Hate that. How do you like “disincentivize?”

  16. jennine says:

    i’d like to see a movie titled ‘the othering’
    ESPECIALLY if it had midgets, like i can’t think of one movie with midgets that is bad. not one.

  17. skye says:

    I don’t know exactly, I think it means “style” – or at least that’s what the context would imply. I’m pretty sure serial vint offender “Karla” from the Kloset has been using steez lately, but I’ve seen it in multiple locations in recent times, it might be a Snoop Dogg type hip hop word maybe?

  18. Sister Wolf says:

    jennine – I think you’re right about movies with midgets! Did you see “In Bruges?” Fantastic movie, great midget.

    SKye – Oh god, eeeow, I’ll ask my sons if they know it.

  19. Jimmy P says:

    Sister W…. Jim as in Jim as in London – yes indeed. it’s been a while, but so what, eh? nice blog and glad to have been led to it… not read absolutely ALL of it yet and some of the fashion tips (or are they jibes?) are outside my radar BUT anyone rating Naked Lunch in a best books bunch has got to be given the time of blogging-day.

  20. Sister Wolf says:

    Jimmy P – Hey! I still have every aloes book you ever gave me PLUS the hard cover Voice Through a Cloud! I’m sorry but you have to read the entire archives, even the fashion shit. Love to the family, I remember the venison meal quite clearly still! xoxo

  21. Nephew Wolf says:

    I’m pretty sure serial vint offender “Karla” from the Kloset has been using steez lately, but I’ve seen it in multiple locations in recent times, it might be a Snoop Dogg type hip hop word maybe?

    New York street Spanish turned general street slang turned popular slang.

    estilo >>> stilo >>> steelo >>> steez

    Predates Snoop Dogg’s popularity by approximately 109287346289 years.

  22. Deena says:

    Honeypants- I was thinking there was a new word for “August” too. Lawd.

  23. sam says:

    I feel strongly about using the word ‘space’ instead of room….just ask any of my friends!
    I dont rant, honest I don’t.

  24. Iron Chic says:

    I’ve been ranting about “recessionista” for a while. It boils my blood.
    Also, I’ve noticed that people are using the word “hubris” a lot lately.

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