Something I dearly love about language is when a word we already know becomes a THING, especially when it manages to seem suddenly completely necessary (how did we live without being able to express what this expresses?!) AND totally unnecessary because we actually have words that do this well…we were just a little tired of them.
Today’s shining example: “adjacent”! Or rather, “(-)adjacent.” Because the internet has freshened this word the hell up, and now -ish and -esque can go get some REST.It’s such a fun substitute for those because it evokes not just similarity but physical proximity, and when applied to non-physical properties it just like… tickles, in the best way.
I mean, it’s everywhere right now, so here are basically the first five examples I see on Twitter without trying: “hood adjacent”; “emo-adjacent lesbian”; “common for trolls and troll-adjacent accounts to complain about being blocked”;”grey is about to be everywhere, heather and lavender adjacent”; “dictatorship adjacent regimes.” (I put the – in () because it’s sometimes there and sometimes not.)
The natural question now is: “what’s Flea got to do with it?” The answer, of course, is NOTHING WHATEVER (and that is also an extremely helpful hint to the mini-puzzle below). And also, this:
The physicality of “-adjacent” is there in the Latin: “lie near to”! (as you may have guessed, “adsurgent” is extremely made up by me, but it COULD mean “wake up to”*)
Also I think “-adjacent” is appealing particularly in 2018 because that “next-to” physicality also contains the idea that shit is on a SPECTRUM, even shit we weren’t taught to think of that way. I saw “male or male-adjacent” the other day and that was when I decided it was time to write this love letter.
And who even WANTS a love letter without a mini crossword puzzle in it? I mean technically you are just eavesdropping on this love letter between me and this word, which is very salacious, but anyway you might as well do this rad puzzle. Also I have received comments like “I want to do your puzzles but they are too hard!” and I invite you to just text me if you want some help. Also, there’s a “reveal” function–go wild! Or wild-adjacent.