Most people have heard of the Oxford English Dictionary‘s Word of the Year. Examples of how our language has become hipper and more robust include the latest additions to the club: 😂 (2015), vape (2014), selfie (2013), omnishambles (2012) and squeezed middle (2011).
This last one, also known as middle-class squeeze, got me thinking. I’ve just finished preparing my tax information for 2015 and realized a couple of things. Like the squeezed middle suggests, my increase (or lack of it) in income is not keeping up with inflation. However – and this is where it gets truly frightening – according to StatsCan – I make more than TWICE AS MUCH median household income than the average person anywhere in Canada in my economic category (individual living alone, no children).
So why the hell am I so cash poor? I don’t like reading fancy-dancy economists use their mathematical jargon (Quintiles? Really?) when trying to discover what defines the middle class, like this piece from Forbes, for example. I like it done simply:
Middle Class = middle of the pack –> able to afford “average” things without having to go into debt (with the exception of property)
See? That was simple and straightforward enough, right?
So, in light of the OED and their Word of the Year, I’d like to nominate a new category for 2016: Unword of the Year. What does this term mean? It means we remove the word(s) from the dictionary because it’s no longer relevant in the parlance of today.
Now, drum roll, please. For 2016, I’d like to nominate the following terms for Unword of the Year: middle class (noun) and middle-class (adjective).
If you have any suggestions of your own for Unword of the Year, please feel free to leave a message below. Because as I get set to submit my information to my accountant, I really can’t think of a better nominee.