Of all of Donald Trump’s campaign promises—presuming for the moment that they were indeed campaign promises, and not just the low sounds of gas escaping—few have been as overlooked as his promise that, under his iron rule, we will all be obliged to say Merry Christmas again. At least in my own personal experience, this year, it has not even happened once. Passersby have told me Happy Valentine’s Day, or Happy Halloween, or Happy Memorial Day—that last one is always a bit puzzling, to be honest—and have a happy holiday outpaces them all, as usual, by at least 20 to one, but not once has anyone assaulted me with a wayward Merry Christmas. So far, at least, this little man’s attempt to bend the American vocabulary to his will has not been going very well. Perhaps he will step up the pace a bit; perhaps he will not. Given the record of his other campaign promises, he is just as likely to join the perpetual War on Christmas as agent for the other side.
That said, there’s no end to the things America never thought it’d be saying in 2017 that we are now indeed saying as matter of course. There are, in fact, dozens.
• Collusion — An odd contender for our new word of the season, and in fact for every season, collusion is now a household word with brand recognition that likely tops Ivanka’s own. It is omnipresent. It is in all the papers, and weekly. A savvy company might as well make bank on our new favorite word: By next year, expect Collusion For Men, a new fragrance, or new Colludio’s, a breakfast cereal that you won’t remember having no matter how many emails you send later about how great it was.
• The president tweeted today — This odd string of words is now a near-daily occurrence. Several times a day, in fact. Usually when Fox & Friends is on.
• The president went golfing — This one tends to crop up every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as most holidays and more than a few random Tuesdays. I am not the first person to wonder if it is Secret Service code for the president needs to visit his coke stash again.
• emoluments — Admit it, you’d never even heard this word before it suddenly became relevant last January. It never used to come up. It even sounds ridiculous. Emoluments was one of those words that might appear on the SAT, if you were unlucky, but would surely never again be relevant in our modern, fully functioning, ethics-having two-party system. Surprise!
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