What does it stand for?
A common writer’s trick is to introduce a new term by telling you its origin or what the initials stand for.
SMERSH, KAOS, THRUSH, UNCLE, GIF, NFT, SCUBA, CIA, NSA… you get the idea.
But knowing what the initials are for doesn’t tell us what it means.
And learning who coined a word (and why) is interesting but not the point.
We need a new word when the old words are insufficient to express a shared understanding. And the new word is a placeholder for a story.
If we share the same story about a word, about its place, its possibility and its promise–then we know what it stands for.
New words give us new ways to understand the world, because new words come with stories attached.
And disagreements often happen simply because while we’re using the same word as someone else, we’re not telling the same story they are.