Whilst former POTUS Donald Trump staged his Dramatics of Denial starring Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, little would he have imagined he was making not only history and histrionics, but also attaining immortality in the annals of 2020’s cult cliché-ism.
It’s best left to pol(l)itical scientists to pontificate on #POTUS45 legacy – good bad and the ugly – and suffice it for us to stick to Trump’s lexicological legacy – Word of the Year 2020.
Who better to enlighten about word’s worth and Trumpisms than a custodian of Queen’s English fabled for flowery Tharoorisms.
Tweeting John Cole’s cartoon, grammarian-parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor enlightened us less linguistically awakened Netizens that fashioned after former White House incumbent, word “Tantrump” has now come to denote “an outburst of anger, characterised by an inflated sense of entitlement, denial, narcissism, paranoia and victimhood”.
While contributions to the vocabulary by less melodramatic heads of state have comprised more of catchphrase-ism or colloquialism – be it Bill Clinton’s Carville-esque “It’s the economy, stupid,” Mikhail Gorbachev’s “Glasnost” and “Perestroika” or closer home, Narendra Modi’s pet phrase “Mitron” or Tharoor’s “webaqoof” or “farrago” – trust Trump’s contribution to popular vocabulary being about brattish behaviour “isms” – mannerism, egoism or narcissism.
While the former POTUS was privileged to possess a platform Shakespearean for his Theatre of the Absurd – “All the world’s a stage” – lesser mortals aren’t as blessed with soap opera-esque ouevre or audiences when they throw localised versions of ‘Tantrumps’.
Of Trumpisms VS Tharoorisms
One tribe tossing ‘tantrumps’ at the passing of pandemic-esque power is that of neighbourhood RWA (Residents’ Welfare Association) chiefs.
Elevated to the exalted status of Tin Pot dictators during Lockdown – vested with powers of policing protocols governing social distancing in gated housing societies, come Unlock and some RWA heads – Khullar jis or Khanna jis – are suffering signs of sulkiness at the loss of power. Power, that came from catching red handed on CCTV footage errant residents who sneaked into lifts during Janta curfew or stalked Condo corridors minus masks in Lockdown 1.0.
Like a Trump reluctant to relinquish residency of the White House, these RWA ‘Tin Pot’ types look to be loitering still near seats of power – security desks housing CCTV cameras of Condo living – long after Lockdown is gone. To do ogling ‘masked’ as goggling. Or to do more moral policing by scuttling the Condo’s carriers of “fake news” – inmates who fib they’re driving to the doc when they’re actually scooting to socialise in the Corona-scape.
The curious case of Sleepless in Scuttle.
Of TikTok & Tantrums
Closer home, in the current anti-China corona-scape, the Trump tantrums may carry a ring a resonance in the mannerisms of maids – Lalitaa ji & Co.
With the Tiktok template, which gave many a house help a digital stage for making histrionics if not history, consigned to curtains down by the “Chini Kum” narrative, bais Lalitaa jis & Co may be employing ‘Tantrump-ish’ histrionics with employers.
Post-TikTok, maids may now eye memsahibs Lollita & Co’s Netflix-enabled phones broadcasting “Bandish Bandits” or “Panchayat”. When supplications for spare smartphones fall on deaf memsahib ears, maids Lalitaa ji & Co deign to deliver demeanour that’s Tantrump-ish – clanking and clanging Pan-demic’s pots ‘n’ pans like a Trump-ish empty vessel making the most noise. Or the Lalitaa jis may waste working hours pirouetting TikTok-type latkas-jhatkas in front of Lollita & Co’s bathroom mirrors in demeanour smacking of Trump-ish denial mode – denial of the deathblow to TikTok or dramatics at the denial of the desired smartphone.
The curious case of ‘Who Moved My Grease(paint)’!
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