Sometimes I hear (other) commenters using “the new normal” to describe our present circumstances so often that I react like I’m in the bar on the old TV show “Cheers,” and George Wendt’s character, Norm Petersen, just walked in. Every time he did, a cry would go up in the bar — a cry I want to let loose when I hear “normal” overused:
Things are (or aren’t) normal. That’s an adjective.
But what we’re losing is the word “norm,” the noun for the standard of what is normal.
Indictments of political figures may become a new norm. Mass shootings already are.
Do we accept these things as normal just because we don’t have the word ready to talk about norms?
If it all makes you think too much of “Cheers,” try substituting the word “standard.”
So much is going wrong in our country and our world.
What are our norms? What are our standards?
Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.
Drink deeply at the well of words — subscribe to Margaret Serious! Just click the buttons on this post and follow the prompts. I never send spam. You may unsubscribe at any time, but I trust you won’t.