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.