Defined as (Merriam-Webster):
· Having no precedent, novel, unexampled
Anyone else tired of this word – Unprecedented? Unprecedented is the word that must not be said! To me it has lost all meaning. I don’t even flinch anymore when I hear it. The only thing I feel at the word is vague annoyance, and the need to throw a thesaurus at the speaker’s head because surely, we have an advanced enough vocabulary to choose a new word.
This can include synonyms (Merriam- Webster) like:
- Fresh, new, novel, original, strange, unaccustomed, unfamiliar, unheard-of, unknown
Or some of my favorites (Thesaurus.com):
- Bizarre, eccentric, anomalous, newfangled, freakish, unique, prodigious, new
The word, that I now refuse to say/type, was first documented in 1615. It was first used, in terms of speech, in 1641 by John Finch, Speaker of the House of Commons, a great supporter of King Charles 1. The second recorded use was by King Charles himself in 1642 in his reply to Parliament. (Dictionary.com) King Charles 1 was not a likeable guy. He was considered a tyrannical absolute monarch that was disliked by the British Parliament and the commonwealth. After contributing to the English Civil War, King Charles 1 was executed for high treason by the government, and Britain became an established republic. (Britannica.com) Now this republic only lasted 12 years, but still, it happened. The word, that shall not be used, was made famous by a King who drove Britain to a republic.
So basically, the great wide web is telling me that we have spent the last year defining our lives by a word that this disliked, witless king made famous. Yeah, no. I don’t think so. This needs to change. That is why I propose a new word to define 2020 and dare I say 2021. That word is:
Defined as (Dictionary.com):
· Extraordinary in size, amount, extent
· Wonderful or marvelous
· Abnormal; monstrous
Ya’ll, it is still a big daunting word that holds the basic meaning as the word we will no longer say. Plus, its history is bland to say the least! It was first recorded between the years 1545-55 and comes from the Latin word prōdigiōsus meaning marvelous. Prodigious has a huge range of meaning. In the 1550s it was used to signify omens. By 1568 prodigious became an elegant way to say adjectives like astounding, and by the 1600s prodigious meant huge. The word today is a suggested study word in Scripps National Spelling Bee and is used by novelist everywhere. (Simon Says)
There you have it folks. I think the word prodigious speaks for itself. It’s a big word, history has considered it an elegant alternative, it carries similar meaning to the word we don’t say, and it wasn’t made prominent by an treasonous King. Prodigious is classy, and I am all about keeping it classy. Who’s with me?!
So, here’s to you 2020 and the beginning of 2021. This past year has been prodigious, and I hope that in comparison the rest of 2021 will be greatly uneventful!
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