Every year, the good people at the Oxford dictionary come up with a “word of the year”. We are still in January right now, but I am betting that the word of the year for 2017 will be “alt-“. Yes, it isn’t actually a complete word, but given how powerful it is, I think they will promote it to full word status and then give it this title.
Why do I say so? “Alt-” has amazing, magical powers that make the world a much better place. No kidding. It can help you make sense of things that don’t make sense, it can help people understand each other better, reducing tensions, making friends out of sworn enemies, making unicorns prance around on earth, pretty much anything you can think of. I am betting that as the year progresses, this will become clear to everyone.
Let me give you an example. Here is a typical conversation that occurs millions of times every day these days and ends up badly because they aren’t utilizing the healing power of alt-.
“Earth is flat.”
“What? Are you crazy? Earth is round you moron!”
“Are you so dumb? Don’t you know science is a liberal conspiracy designed to steal your jobs and make you all wimpy? You libtard!”
“You racist, misogynist, xenophobic, hateful repubturd!”
“Oh yeah? We won, ok? Get over it.”
To which of course, there is usually no response. Just clearly visible signs of frustration, anger, resentment, depression, cynicism, paranoia, helplessness, and an overwhelming desire to go to sleep and wake up after 4 years.
As you can see, these conversation aren’t quite ending well, leading to dividing this beautiful country, and inching us closer to the end of civilization. Now, try sprinkling some “alt-” and see how much tastier the conversation gets.
“Earth is flat.”
“Eh? Oh! I see. You mean alt-earth is flat. Or earth is alt-flat. Or even, earth alt-is flat. That makes total sense!”
“Cool. Want to grab some coffee?”
See? Isn’t that a lot better?
Basically, add alt- to any word to mean “anything other than what the word really means”. For example, “alt-earth” in the above sentence could be a slice of bread, which, as we all know, is flat. Or, “alt-flat” could actually mean “round”. And “alt-is”, which is advanced usage, to be utilized only when other placements of alt- don’t work to diffuse tensions, could mean any of “was”, “will be”, or even “isn’t, wasn’t, and won’t ever be” depending upon how mind-numbingly absurd the statement being thus altered is.
See? It is like magic! Use the word liberally 🙂 and potentially disastrous conversations turn into great lifelong friendships based on clear and deep understanding of each other. Birds start chirping, stars start shining, and the world is a much better place.
Imagine if, when Clinton (no, not that one. I am talking about her husband) said “I did not have sex with that woman,” people had just added alt- to pretty much any word in that sentence to really understand what he was saying? We would have avoided the whole unpleasantness of impeachment and its aftermath! See how powerful this word is?