I don't think Lake Superior University has come out with its list of breakout Words of the Year yet, but I am placing my own bet on "chaos."
My "Trump Chaos" query got 185 million results from a Google search on Christmas - er, make that Chaosmess - night. Up to then I foolishly thought that I had enjoyed a pretty nice holiday, until I was informed that Trump had spoiled it.
Ripped from the latest headlines:
The Ghost of Trump Chaos Future -- New York Times.
Trump Chaos Pervades Holiday Season -- The Hill.
Michael Moore Says Trump Chaos Makes Him Frightened For the Country -- MSNBC.
Trump Chaos Keeps Finding New Levels -- Bloomberg News.
Donald Trump Ruins the Holidays With Shutdown, Mattis Chaos -- New York Magazine.
Is Trump's Chaos Tornado a Move from the Kremlin's Playbook? -- Vanity Fair. (They're so vain, they want you to think all the bad stuff comes from Russia. At least they had the good taste not to describe it as a Trump Tsunami, in light of the 400-plus people killed in Indonesia, an event which has already slipped well below the Trump Chaos in clicks, views and Likes)
A dangerous contender in the corporate media's overused word of the year contest is "noose" - as in, the noose that's been tightening around the King of Chaos's neck since Inauguration Day, 2017. Donald Trump has a very short, wide, fleshy neck, which seems to have protected him pretty well, till now, from Robert Mueller's very wide net, or more accurately, hangman's lasso.
Since the rope has been tightening for far longer than the hysterical mass chaos has been erupting, the search term "Trump noose" gets a lot more results: more than 3.8 million on Google. Most recently:
The Walls Are Closing In, the Noose Is Tightening -- Washington Examiner. (Will Trump be squashed to death before the strangulation, or during?)
The Noose Is Tightening: Five Takeaways From the Michael Cohen Plea Deal -- CBC. (Is that for here, or to go?)
Rob Reiner Says the Noose Is Tightening - Breitbart. (but somehow forgets to mention that we are under Russian attack.)
Legal Noose Tightens Around Trump's Neck - And It's No Hyperbole -- CandidCamera. com (Finally, somebody explains right in the scare headline that it's just a metaphor and not a real piece of rope.)
The chaos got really chaotic and the noose tightened in a veritable frenzy of mass yanking over the past week. That is because for the first name since the Trump election, Chaos is really messing with the sensitive spots of the usually impervious Ruling Class Racketeers. To wit: Trump has made the teensiest effort to stop the permanent state of war by withdrawing 2,000 US troops from Syria. On top of that insult to violent capitalism, he dared criticize the sacrosanct Fed, and the stock market took a dive. How quickly the heretofore serene oligarchs have panicked, right after their record gains from the great Trump Tax Giveaway from earlier in the year. And then there's the Government Shutdown over the Wall. It's been a perfect trifecta of chaos.
Of course, life has always been precarious and chaotic for the poor and working classes, but their plights have not garnered much attention, let alone headlines.
It is so suddenly chaotic out there that congress critters and pundits from both sides of the War Party are reduced to begging a general nicknamed "Mad Dog" - whom Barack Obama once removed from command for being too bloodthirsty - to stay on as one of the last remaining competent adult psychopaths in the Room. Rabies is now more popular than Donald Trump . And why not, since polls also show that root canals are more popular than the congress critters who are slobbering all over James Mattis, a steady patriotic war criminal, who once frothed that "it's fun to kill some people."
It is so chaotic that some corporate news outlets are equally outraged that Trump allegedly spoiled Christmas for a seven-year-old - by opining that belief in Santa Claus was "marginal" for someone her age - as they are that another Guatemalan child migrant died in US custody on Christmas morning. As a matter of fact, The Guardian actually placed these two events in side by side top-of-the-homepage headlines to award them tacit equal importance: Christmas Cheer and Death In Detention.
But let's be fair. Just as the seven-year-old who had the phone chat with Trump later admitted to the press that she has no idea what "marginal" even means, it is also doubtful that Trump himself knows what it means. When he was seven years old, and his teacher tactfully noted on his report card that his performance was marginal at best, he assumed that it was a compliment. Marginal, magical. Same exact thing. He meant to tell the little girl that belief in Santa is simply magical thinking, a skill at which he himself is so marvelously adept.
But lest we forget, there are at least two more dangerous stalking word-horses that only add to the linguistic chaos: coyfeve and smocking gun.