In addition to the Oxford dictionary nominating their word of the year, like post-truth (2016) youth-quake (2017) and, only last week, single-use (2018), might I suggest they develop the idea of nominating a “weasel word” category of the year.
The nomination for this year and in fact the last ten or twenty years at least, would be, “inappropriate”. As in, he/she touched, looked, said, wrote, drove or whatever, inappropriately.
This all comes on the back of this weeks lame and casual deployment of the word (and it’s only Tuesday) amidst the accusation that former ABC board chairman Justin Milne touched the former MD, Michelle Guthrie, inappropriately.
In this age of offence taking for the most innocent social infraction, inappropriate, has become the Swiss Army Knife, the Wily Coyote, all purpose, ACME catch all, accusatory, linguistic tool of our time to be deployed on all and any occasion whether it’s fit for purpose or not and you can’t think of anything else.
Some of it’s uses have been totally absurd or indeed, “inappropriate”.
It makes one wonder what we ever did without it AND it must always be spoken with the “appropriate” politically correct, down the nose, snippy purse lips of course.