Say goodbye to 2020 | Pakistan Today

Say goodbye to 2020

  • God help us all get through 2020 to a better ‘21

Just as a virus changes or mutates─ and we’re more familiar with the idea now than before, language changes as well. The words we use and the phrases that are popular from one generation to the next are shaped by various factors, and many of these words and phrases change or disappear depending on the times they flourish in, the people who use them and events that occur at various times.

Even legal terms can find themselves into common parlance like Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with ‘cheating and dishonesty,’ 420 has come to be known by the people of the subcontinent as another term for a fraud. It’s the same with 9-2-11 which is something similar and means ‘an absconder’.

With that in mind, the end of the year may be a good opportunity to guess what other changes are likely to take place in the language we speak. To start with there could be sentences like ‘it turned out to be a complete 2020’ which would refer to something during the course of which everything went wrong. Optometrists will need to come up with another description for perfect vision also, because 2020 has not been a year known for a good vision.

Stuff like ‘doing a u-turn worthy of IK,’ when a complete turnabout─ even in apparent matters of principle─ takes place, is now old hat and a bit tedious because it has lost its novelty. But there’s always the term ‘a puppet theatre deserving of Pakistan’ which well describes current affairs and which could be used in the future for anytime someone imagines he or she has a hand in matters when he or she does not, despite all Rafi Peer Theatre’s attempts to give puppet shows a positive cultural spin.

And then, for example, is anyone still happy to hear ‘you’ve come up trumps’ as a compliment if someone means you have completed something successfully and well? It’s very doubtful. Perhaps a Trump reference will become the same as a four letter word from now on, and its use will be restricted to ‘trumped-up charges’ or to refer to unsavoury matters, accusations, or other such things. There may be other usage, such as the next time we have elections and the previous leadership refuses to concede defeat, that will henceforth be referred to as ‘doing a trump.’ Really, that phrase could be used in a number of ways, when a tenant refuses to vacate a house, or when a person lays claims to success when the evidence points to quite the opposite. All of these are things occur all the time so it’s possible that a Trump legacy does exist.

Or a thief ‘getting nabbed’… in future perhaps that will bring up feelings of anger instead of satisfaction because it would be understood that the thief who was nabbed was the wrong one, caught on purpose to allow all the actual ones to run away. Of course the phrase that has the most impact will have to be ‘She’s a positive person.’ Watch everyone take cover and disperse

For example, ‘playing a base trumpet’. Such a phrase would be ideal for times when someone says something really despicable. Such as our Special Assistant to the Prime Minister’s recent comment when she spoke of Nawaz Shareef ‘parceling’ his dead mother home from the UK to Pakistan. That was uncannily reminiscent of the POTUS interrupting Biden in their first debate to say “I don’t know Beau,” speaking of the now President’s dead son. That was base cruelty if anything, or ‘a base trumpet (ism).’

I know, one gets kind of stuck on that theme. So let’s break away from it. But wait, there’s one more. What will you say in future when a person is allowed to get off scot-free despite admitting to grave crimes? ‘Getting Pardoned with the turkey?’ Yep.

So closer to home, how about ‘doing an Isa’, what will that mean in future years? It is likely to be used for when someone does everything he or she is supposed to do but still cops plenty of unfair flack because e or she has courage and principles.

Or a thief ‘getting nabbed’… in future perhaps that will bring up feelings of anger instead of satisfaction because it would be understood that the thief who was nabbed was the wrong one, caught on purpose to allow all the actual ones to run away.

Of course the phrase that has the most impact will have to be ‘She’s a positive person.’

Watch everyone take cover and disperse.

God help us all get through 2020 to a better ‘21.

Rabia Ahmed

The writer is a freelance columnist. Read more by her at http://rabia-ahmed.blogspot.com/



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