It’s an exciting time to be a writer! We live in a world where our language is constantly evolving, and the dictionary is being re-written as we speak.
With a background in public relations, I found myself always looking over my shoulder waiting for the moment to be ridiculed for one comma out of place. However, just a couple of offices down, our social media team didn’t have a worry in the world about grammar as long as they conveyed a message that resonated with their audience.
In the past three years, the following words were added to the dictionary, and they would make every AP Style guru cringe!
1. Hangry (ADJ.) - Irritable or angry because of hunger.
2. Bougie (ADJ.) - Marked by a concern for wealth, possessions, and respectability.
3. TL;DR (ABBREV.) - Too long; didn't read - used to say that something would require too much time to read.
4. Bingeable (ADJ.) - Having multiple episodes or parts that can be watched in rapid succession.
5. Fave (N.) - Favorite. This word is older than it looks: It dates back to 1938.
6. Adorbs (ADJ.) - Extremely charming or appealing: adorable.
7. Rando (N.) - A random person: a person who is not known or recognizable or whose appearance (as in a conversation or narrative) seems unprompted or unwelcome.
8. Weak Sauce (N.) - Something inferior, ineffective, or unimpressive: something weak.
9. Throw Shade (V.) - To express contempt or disrespect for someone publicly especially by subtle or indirect insults or criticisms
10. Ghost (V.) - To abruptly cut off all contact with (someone, such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.
Ever thought of using “adorbs” or “weak sauce” in your copy? Give it a try, it makes writing fun and it will grab your readers’ attention. The English language is forever changing, and you need to adapt along with it. In the modern era, it’s vital to connect with your intended audience or you’ll get lost in the endless clutter. Think about it, what’s more important to you and your agency, the engagements you receive on a social media post or the personal pat on the back you’ll receive knowing every period is perfectly placed?
The one exception…misspellings! There/their, your/you’re, etc. These need to be used correctly or else the second your reader sees a misspelling, you’ve lost them completely and their minds are enslaved by one tiny word.
So be bougie, throw shade, don’t be weak sauce and have fun, and in return your readers will find you adorbs!