Thanks to a combination of political correctness and the amazing ability of school children to turn anything at all into an insult, I predict a forthcoming crisis in the greetings card market.
In the playground, at least, the word ‘special’ now has connotations that, I’m sure, are not intended by the designers of this lovely missive. To be called ‘special’ or (if you just don’t have time for two syllables in your busy teenage life, what with all the texting, and messaging and loafing around) ‘spesh’ is one of the most damning condemnations there is at the moment. It’s totally taken over from ‘minger‘ which I haven’t heard (except in an ironic way) for ages now. And as I confidently predicted at the time, I almost miss it.
Certainly, it seems preferable to ‘spesh’ (which, if you haven’t tumbled to it yet, is short for ‘special needs’) and not solely because it’s so offensive (nay, inappropriate!). I rather like the word special and now I’ve been robbed. I won’t be able to use it any more without qualifying it, or run the risk of raising a snigger from any kids who happen to be within earshot.
And what are the card manufacturers going to do? Back in my day the playground insults de choix were just as heartless but somehow a bit more direct. ‘Spazz’ or ‘mong’, as I recall, would have served the same purpose.
And you don’t get many greetings cards that say that.