There is a proliferation of new terminology flooding our literature, newspapers and general media outlets. When words are created or given new meaning, once they become acceptable vernacular so should the meaning be subject to selective interpretation. Below is a list of the more commonly created or adapted terms whose definitions have changed or were absent from our vocabularies of 15 years ago. Urban Dictionary, listen up!

The New Normal = there is no new normal, there is a New Abnormal. So let’s go with that.

Whiteness = is what happens to the hair on old people’s heads. It happened to mine.

Micro-aggression = is when an ant steals another ant’s stolen tiny morsel on their way to visit the queen.

Conspiracy Theory = is the suspicion that our chef uses mashed potatoes from a box instead of fresh potatoes from the store.

Safe Spaces = are nice little play pens where adults can seek comfort and safety from the reality of living in the real world. Found mainly on university campuses. I used them with my toddlers for the same reason.

Nativism = is when you run about the house naked. Works for some. No big deal.

Gender Identity = is deciding whether you prefer to be a he or a she.

Gender Neutral = is when you don’t give a flying fig what that gender may be, you just want to enjoy and have fun.

Cyber attack = merely a typo, originally meant to mean Fiber Attack which is when moths eat a hole in your favorite wool mittens.

Gas Lighting = is when you light a match from a blast of methane gas. Pure and simple.

Antifa = is a beautiful Island in the Indian Ocean. Haven’t been there yet.

Cancel Culture - is a real misnomer. It has nothing to do with cancel and nothing to do with culture. It is punishing people for thinking differently than other people.

Culture Appropriation = is the lack of understanding that imitation is the sincerest of compliments. Go figure.

White Supremacy = is either an oxymoron or a redundancy. Neither definition will please everyone. Or anyone.

Woke = is an example of bad English or a misspelling. I opt for the misspelling, just think of stir fried veggies (yum yum) drop the “e” and make sure you have one in your kitchen. Wok, that is.

Inclusion = is being asked to make friends with everyone, whether you like them or not. It is regularly tried in kindergartens but isn’t successful there either.

Black Lives Matter = Who ever said they didn’t?

Ghosting = is to stop communicating with someone without explanation and it can happens when talking on a phone with it tucked between your chin and shoulder while cooking spaghetti, reaching for the oregano, resulting in the phone dropping into the sauce pan; your friend has been ghosted. Best not done in bathrooms for obvious reasons. (Not always mean-spirited as most are led to believe.)

Living with lockdown rules and separation from my family is most unpleasant. If I didn’t find things to laugh about, I would be crying about it. So to continue to write, to laugh and stay in touch by phone, text and Zoom are what keeps me focused and in good spirits. And when I say good spirits, I notice it is time for “a marjorita”, that helps as well.

Marge Flados resides in Harlingen, Texas and can be reached at nflados@gmail.com