As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so too does the repetitive language people are using to talk about it. After a while, it gets exhausting hearing the same words over and over again in every article, tweet, and news broadcast. A few weeks ago, we rounded up the overused pandemic words and phrases our Twitter followers told us they were absolutely tired of hearing. The list included terms like unprecedented, social distancing, and trying times. Then, we asked you to submit your own pandemic word pet peeves to round out the list.
After receiving over 300 submissions following our original post, we have a few additions to talk about. Here are the five most suggested pandemic words and phrases Thesaurus.com fans told us they never, ever want to hear again.
Abundance of caution
There are a lot of clever options to choose from to change this one up: wealth of watchfulness, profusion of providence, or even bounty of vigilance. But in the interest of being succinct, you could just say you’re being careful.
Flatten the curve
Flattening the curve is a good thing to do, but you aren’t alone if you’re tired of talking about it. Instead, why don’t we smash the trajectory? If that’s not your favorite option, you could always subdue the sinuosity, beat down the bend, or trample the contour. You have options.
Face masks aren’t fun to wear, but they can serve an important purpose. If you’re tired of talking about them, give yours a fun, new nickname.
Wash your hands
This phrase (and the act it describes) isn’t going anywhere, so spend your 20-second trip to the sink mulling over some new ways to talk about it.
Much like unprecedented, this word has become one of the most used of the pandemic (that is, when people aren’t mistaking it for unchartered). If it’s ruffling your feathers, try mentally replacing it with another word like unexplored, little known, or undiscovered. Are we perhaps headed into exotic waters? Well, no. But it might make things sound a little more interesting.