Sep 132016

Being a generally conservative sort, I’m not a big fan of the endless rush of neologisms our hyperconnectivity has wrought upon our beautiful language. My seething hatred of melty is well-documented, for example, and I’m on record on ginormous as well.

I think most of the time, it’s lack of necessity and/or insufficient novelty that lie at the heart of my antipathy. I don’t think melty or ginormous contribute enough over melted or gigantic/enormous to carry their own weights. They’re vaguely fraudulent, and I think they know it. Melty and ginormous are like underage kids at the bar who are effortlessly nonchalant—until someone looks at them for more than two seconds in a row.

I might like adulting, though. It’s elegant, replacing an entire phrase—”acting like an adult” or “doing adult activities.” Plus, it’s also wonderfully evocative. When you’re adulting, there’s a definite connotation that you’re doing this somewhat reluctantly, isn’t there? Like “yeah, I’m out here navigating this crap because it’s what you have to do to participate long-term in Western civilization, but my heart is in my pajamas watching edited-for-TV Smokey and the Bandit on TBS and having Thousand Island on Triscuits for lunch.”

Sometimes I think of it in terms of adulting enough to earn that veg time, but maybe that’s the wrong model. I mean, shouldn’t I be learning a skill or trade with that time? Wouldn’t that be adulting at leisure? Do hugely successful people ever not adult? You think Warren Buffett has ever spent 24 hours in his bathrobe? You think Bill Gates has ever meticulously straightened out the edge of a Doritos bag in order to effectively funnel the last crumbs into his mouth? You think Carly Fiorina ever finished Halo 2 on Legendary?

Do I want to get comfortable with the notion of adulting all the time? I’m not sure. Let me watch a few Breaking Bads and get back to you.

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 Posted by at 11:37 am

  3 Responses to “Adulting”

  1. Please do a post on your thoughts about “addicting” vs “addictive”. And “lighted” vs “lit”.

    I don’t think either of those two oddities (my own opinion) are a result of modern technology and our rush to get our thoughts out without respect for grammar and current rules of English. But they seem to come up more and more, and those just drive me nuts.

  2. I had a boss who set goals for herself EVERY DAY and was super organized. I always felt like an inadequate slub around her. Finally I just put it down to the fact that people are different.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I hate, “disrespecting.”

  3. Tahm, there are some interesting nuances in each of your peeves. Let me mull them a bit.

    Cheryl, I do admire a lot of people like that, but I also say to myself “I bet I laugh harder than they do.” 🙂

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