We had a bit of a spat her not long ago about the use of Certain Terms of Abuse. I was deeply disappointed to see valued contributors and commenters threatening to leave and not come back because of mere words. The storm has blown over, but to avoid a repetition, I thought it would be nice if we could come up with some replacement vocabulary that would be satisfactory to all.
I was looking for some acceptable synonyms – words that would describe people who want to lock you up, ban you from expressing your opinions, and force you to wear a degrading label – without actually referring to people who have done just that. But my Roget’s Thesaurus doesn’t seem to have been updated since the 1920s, since it doesn’t even have “Nazi.” For “Fascisti” it offers “Freemasons, Knights Templars, Odd Fellows, Ku Klux Klan etc.” Calling Ken Rice an Odd Fellow seems unnecessarily hurtful. I’m sure he’s as normal as a 97 pence note.
John Cook once complained that he was obliged to describe his tribe of global warming worriers as “Warmists” because no-one had come up with a better term. Now that the Guardian has banned the word “warming” he is in trouble. “Hottists” is silly. “Boils” is short and to the point, and apt, since it suggests something painful and possibly fatal. But I’m sure you can do better.
Coming to the Covid crowd, the best I could think of was “Viralists” and “Swabs.” More suggestions please. And do wash your hands before attacking the keyboard.