The last US election brought with it a variety of changes, as we all know. But, one of the most irritating, incessant, and persistent changes is the newfound popularity of the word “sad”.
Everything is sad now.
Someone has a different political view than you? It is sad.
A website that you like stopped posting the kind of content you like? Sad.
Millennials exist? Sad.
Vegetarian? Sad. Omnivore? Sad.
Your clothing, hair, or makeup choices? Sad.
Your political affiliation, education, employment history, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and basic existence are all, according to the internet, sad.
And how unequivocally, ridiculously sad is that?
Can we not make use of the multitude of adjectives we all know and love? Can we not use language to communicate how we actually feel or think to someone else? Maybe, just maybe, if we made use of the sparkling and wondrous gift of language that all internet users have access to, our comments and opinions wouldn’t seem so pathetic.
Because yes, choosing to always describe someone that differs from you as “sad” is pathetic. It has become a go-to word used to lazily and hastily place yourself on a pedestal above someone else. Regardless of which side of the argument you are on. As we would say back in Nova Scotia, it is a word meant to get someone “riled up”.
According to the dictionary, there are two possible definitions:
Obviously, today’s use isn’t about sorrow. So, we must assume that when people use the word, they mean to say “pathetically inadequate or unfashionable”. That becomes quite pretentious when we substitute it for “sad”, but at least it better conveys your thoughts and feelings on whatever matter you are discussing.
For example: “I think it’s sad how everything is sad” could become “I think using the word “sad” to describe everything is pathetically inadequate”. Then it makes that sentiment much more pointed.
It would also help to make everyone seem less dramatic. Is it really, honestly pathetically inadequate that someone wears clothing differently than you, or that they don’t know or believe something that you do? Do you really expect all 7.6 billion of us to think and believe the same things? What gives you the right to determine that someone else’s life or actions are pathetically inadequate? And in relation to what, your own?
Sad, though it may seem like such a small, casual word, is actually a cruel and harsh little adjective, full of venom and pretentiousness when used properly.
So use it wisely.
Or just use a bloody thesaurus.