Want to know how to create new words during crisis?

Ask women, they’ve been at it a while now.

Perhaps it’s not so surprising that it should have been women, who historically have all-too-well understood the paralysing parameters of enforced distancing (and not just social, but economic and political as well), who were compelled to fashion new words to cope with the feeling of being cut off from the pulse of life.

Taking as our inspiration such gifted wordsmiths as George Eliot and Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and Dorothy Wordsworth, perhaps we can distil some helpful principles – some New Rules, to do a Dua Lipa – for sculpting a vocabulary to describe the surreal realities that will surely come to define these tense and trying times.

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