This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Thing To Be Today, Probably: woke.

Are you woke? Do you want to be woke

Er...what is woke, exactly?

Woke is too new a word for anyone to be completely certain of its meaning, especially as it still seems to be expanding and finding new places to exert its influence. It started off meaning awakened: in African American Vernacular English I was woke has long meant I was awake, or I was awakened

From about ten years ago, perhaps as a result of its use in music, woke began to mean I became aware [of some issue]; and then, expanding still further, I became aware that everything out there is a lot more complicated than I thought.

Nowadays I was woke has reached the point where it means I became aware that everything was so complicated that the only way to survive was to go along with the currently fashionable viewpoint on Life the Universe and Everything.

And, really, when you think about it that way, I was woke is an extremely efficient way of putting it.

Nowadays, as well as being woke personally, you can have, for instance, woke fancy dress parties, where everyone is so sensitive about causing offence that they more or less have to go dressed as themselves. There are probably woke restaurants and woke weddings, too.

I would comment that we're all walking on eggshells. But I'm afraid that might be seen as lacking in respect to the poor chicks.

Thing To Be Today Probably: woke. The trouble is, if I am myself woke then I probably shouldn't be using the word woke because that might be seen as cultural appropriation. 

Ah well! 

The Old English form of this word was wacian.

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