‘Outbreak’ Voted the Most Detested Pandemic-Related Word Among Hoosiers

(UNDATED) – While almost every American can’t wait to resign the coronavirus to the pages of future history books. Many of us are also eager to part with certain pandemic-related words and phrases – and wishing they will never be uttered again.

This time last year, many of these terms were rarely used in everyday conversation, but now it feels as though every aspect of our lives is flooded with them.

From work chats, social media, news, and magazines, to our favorite television show scenes are now all set in the midst of the pandemic.

Language constantly evolves, and now these linguistic changes have been so profound that Merriam-Webster named ‘pandemic’ as its word of the year in 2020.

A poll by PRPioneer.com, a website that provides public relations and communications resources, of 3,700 (ages 18+) people revealed that ‘outbreak’ is officially Indiana’s most detested word to emerge as a result of the pandemic.

The top 5 pandemic-related words or phrases detested by Hoosiers are:

  1. Outbreak
  2. Flattening the curve
  3. Second wave
  4. Bubble
  5. Unprecedented

In second place was the phrase ‘flattening the curve’. This communicates what happens if the spread of the virus slows down. The same number of people may get sick, but the infections happen over a longer span of time.

It also appears we are not fond of the term ‘second wave’, which in pre-pandemic times may catalyze a bout of anxiety. Meaning COVID-19 cases are increasing again.

Once used in a more upbeat, positive manner, the word ‘bubble’ emerged in the list. So much for a good time out with friends on a Friday or Saturday night. It means you commit to only hanging out with certain individuals within your bubble, even if you are tired of being with them.

Fifth place went to the word ‘unprecedented’ – this appears in nearly every news article published during these unprecedented times. The continued threat of the disease has led to ongoing changes and challenges, requiring us to quickly adapt to different ways of working, learning, and connecting with each other. The virus has simply put, disrupted the status quo, and it has been unlike anything we’ve experienced in modern times. 

Other phrases we detest included.

Herd immunity’ – When the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 first started to spread, virtually nobody was immune. When most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, this provides indirect protection – or herd immunity.

Coronacation’ – the least pleasant vacation known to the history of mankind – thanks to self-isolation. We can thank Generation Z for coming up with this word naming self-isolation as a Coronacation.

Blursday’ – Blursday is a term that’s being tossed around on social media right now to describe the merging of minutes, hours, and days since COVID-19 shut the world down.  Before the pandemic, it was a term that described a drunk or hungover day, according to Urban Dictionary.  You can probably see the similarities.

To see a complete list of the 20 most detested phrases click here.