The modern penchant for inventing terms for everything amuses me. I’m ambivalent about it – on the one hand, coinages help us be both precise and concise within the circle of Those Who Know. On the other, they are instruments of exclusion, and sometimes they seem just plain unnecessary.
For instance, I was talking to someone about how we are planning to raise our forthcoming baby, and they asked me if we were planning on “co-sleeping” and “babywearing”. I replied with something along the lines of “uh, yes, if those things mean what they sound like they mean.” My parents let me sleep with them as a baby, and carried me around a lot of the time, but I don’t recall them ever using those terms. They just did it.
Likewise “lifehacking“, about which there is a book and everything now. Back in the day this used to be referred to as “being resourceful”.
It doesn’t bother me too much, because for some reason I seem to have the knack for intuitively inferring the meaning of even obscure terms when I first see or hear them; and on the rare occasion this ability fails, my google-fu is superb. But then I’ll find myself using one of these neologisms in conversation with Stacey and she’ll look at me like I’m from Neptune.
Do we really need terms like “babywearing”? It seems like they often go hand-in-hand with being a member of a clique, usually an elitest one. (“Are you an Attachment Parent(tm)? Awesome, me too! Wait, you don’t take your baby into the bathroom with you when you poo? You fraud! Your poor children!”*)
On the flip side, I guess they let you geek out about subjects which were previously un-geekable.
On that note, I think I’m going to sockfoot upstairs and do some brainflushing in my lawnpatch.
* Not a conversation I’ve actually had with anyone. Thank goodness.