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Words of the Year

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

Key words and phrases:

tame: calm, quiet, not overly exciting

gain traction: an idea that grows in popularity and acceptance

flip through: look at quickly, turn the pages quickly

vax: slang for vaccine

anti-vaxxer: a person who strongly opposes vaccines

perseverance: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties

in line with: similar to

resilience: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

go out on a limb: take a risk

push back: resist, protest

backbone: the main support of a system

gravitate toward: move toward something or be attracted to something

A very Happy New Year to all! I trust that everyone had a safe and tame New Year’s eve. And, as the idea of sober curious gains traction, many of you may have woken up January 1st with a clear head. Well, it is a brand new year and a time for us to be filled with a wonderful sense of optimism as the mysteries of 2022 await. I encourage you to take a moment after reading this and flip through or scroll through your schedule for the year. Focus on all the vacant spaces and imagine what they will be filled with, who you will meet, and the opportunities that will arise; this is an exciting way to look at the year that lies ahead.

But before looking to 2022, let’s take a moment and reflect on 2021. Specifically, I would like to look at the words of the year. According to Oxford Dictionary, “vax,” short for vaccine, was the word of the year. Not surprisingly, this word was used very much as many people were all rushing to get vaccinated…except the “anti-vaxxers” of course. Cambridge lists the word of the year as “perseverance,” something that has been very much needed over the past two years; this is in line with Arianna Huffington’s 2020 choice, “resilience.”

How about 2022? If we fast forward to the end of the year, what will this year’s word be? I’ll go out on a limb here and predict it to be “align” or “alignment.” Why? As more and more companies ask employees to return to the office, workers will either push back or leave the company in order to “align” their personal interests with work life. I also believe that more progressive companies will use this as a recruiting tool to attract top talent. This, in turn, will force the more conservative companies to either align their work policies with the needs of employees, or lose them.

Although this may sound like bad news for inflexible employers, it is very positive news for workers, the backbone to any economy. As people gravitate toward the things like work-life integration and align their work lives with their personal lives, societies will move toward higher levels of satisfaction and overall happiness. Perhaps years from now when the pandemic has passed, we will look back on this period of perseverance and resilience and see that it did indeed bring us both challenges and positive changes.

Wishing you health and happiness throughout 2022 and always.

Mark Tofflemire

Tailor Made Inc.

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