There should be a word…

Every year new words are added to the dictionary. This is the list for this year.  There are new words that are used in popular culture like binge-watch, vape, side- boob and YOLO, as well as a long list of technical and scientific vernacular.

Popular new words  are found by researching current language trends. After enough people know and are using the word, it makes its way into the dictionary.  People come up with ways of describing something in a succinct and descriptive way. It’s use becomes so common that we all know what it means, it seems like something we have always said and known forever. It needs no explanation, it’s just there. Think about the word hangry. Do you need a definition or can you guess ?

Popular words can fade from use and become old-fashioned. Think about words like groovy, rap or rat-fink. While other words stand the test of time when used by a specific group of people, words like “stoked or charging” are used by surfers and have been for years. Then there are words, that are still used by large parts of the population, words like cool, dude or bad-ass – they seem to endure.

These new words make communication easier. They have an agreed upon meaning.  Communication is more efficient when we are using them and they give us common ground.  They define segments of the population and can identify you as a part of a specific group. They are descriptive and give flavor and texture to language. There are people who don’t like some of the words  and they see it as “corruption” of the language, or they just think the new word is idiotic. In my mind, I have the option to use the words or not as I see fit. The words I don’t like are words that promote hate and violence. No matter what the words are or how you string them together, I find them disturbing, but that is for another day.

Today, I think there should be a word to describe … You know that thing where – wherever you go someone else shows up, specifically when I am driving. For example, you are driving down a quiet street and there is no-one in sight. You stop to look for an address. You look up and there is someone behind you, where did they come from? You get to a parking lot that is not full you head down an aisle and all of a sudden there are 10 people behind you. You get to a corner in a quiet neighborhood and there is a 4-way stop and there is no-one there but the birds, then four cars materialize. Another example, I get very few deliveries to my home. I live on a quiet street at the end of the block. I arrive home and as I pull up the UPS man is at my door and blocking the driveway. This has happened a few times.

Some would call this serendipity  which was a word coined by  Horace Walpole in 1754. Serendipity is a good example of a word that has made it into the common lexicon from someone taking a word and changing it to suit his need. Some would call this mere coincidence.

I think it is more than just serendipity or coincidence. I can’t believe this happens to just me. For some odd reason, we are all attracted to the same place at the same time. I am just positive those quiet streets are perfectly quiet and untravelled for the majority of the day. I am not speaking about early morning or evening traffic as people are leaving for work or arriving home, but the middle of the day like mid-morning or mid-afternoon, when all of a sudden a group of cars appear at the same moment then there are long stretches when there is no-one there.

What do we call that ? That group instinct that draws us all to the same place at the same time. This happens to me when I am out in the country on gravel roads, where there might be three houses in a several mile radius. After years in home care and seeing this phenomenon on a daily basis, I am sure there needs to be a word for this. I want to be able to describe this in a more succinct in economical fashion. This clustering and random grouping of people in one place then separating maybe to never cross paths again. It feels like birds flocking and swooping –like a murmuration.

Can we be that poetic and lovely ? So what should we call it ?

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