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  • Writer's pictureFeathers the Wonder Dog

The new Covid language - your quick guide

Dear Friends – when Klady spent her decade working in Switzerland, one of her responsibilities was the creation of corporate communications in three and sometimes more languages. It always proved challenging creating materials that matched page by page – especially when official French, German and other language texts could run up to 40 per cent longer than the compact English original.

While minor debates about language were frequent, heated discussions focused on the belief that English is a living language, as opposed to, for example, French where the language is governed by the 12 wise people of the Académie française, the official authority on the usages, vocabulary, and grammar.

Now why am I talking about this?

As English is a living language that evolves, changes and adapts over time, I believe that due to Covid we can now redefine our everyday English vocabulary to reflect the new normal.

Here are just some examples I’ve recently been working on.

  • Isolate (eye-so-late) : an apology for being 2 weeks late for an appointment.

  • Isoooolate (eye-soooo-late) : an apology for being more than 2 weeks late for an appointment. Not to be confused with Isolatte (eye-so-lahtee) and Isolatea (eye-so-lahtea) - two hipster drinks.

  • Isobar (eye-so-baar) : a singles bar with strict 1.5 metre social distancing. Good luck!

  • Isosceles (eye-saw-sells) : the successful bombardment of advertisements and promotions during lockdown and isolation. (It obviously works as sales have exponentially increased).

  • Isopod (eye-so-pod) : a property, house, office or establishment under Covid quarantine. Includes trendy tiny houses.

  • Isogon (eye-so-gon) : I’m really drunk (expression).

  • Isotropic (eye-so-tropp-hic) : I’ve got cabin fever and am a little tipsy.

  • Isogenous (eye-so-jeaneus) : statement of hipster modesty.

  • Isoelectric (eye-so-ellektrik) : don’t I look great? (more hipster speak)

  • Isotonic (eye-so-tonik) : quinine based beverage usually added to gin. This mixture when consumed in large quantities helps alleviate the tedium of quarantine and lockdown. Makes great martinis.

  • Isolationists (eye-so-laeshenists) : people living in permanent quarantine – currently the state of Victoria, Australia.

  • Isopach (eye-so-park) : the one hour of outdoor exercise allowed when living in lockdown (a Feathers personal favourite).

  • Isocaloric (eye-so-caloric) : all the junk food that’s been eaten while in quarantine.

  • And on a finishing note…..

  • ISO-2020 (eye-so-twenty twenty) : the new international quality standard for annus horribilis.

I’m going to present these language amendments to the Macquarie Dictionary, Académie française and the committee that puts together the authoritative 12-volume German Duden.

And of course I expect that my proposals will once again generate debate and heated discussion amongst those who don't subscribe to the fact that languages are living entities.

Please let me know if you have any additions or corrections, please let me know!

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