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Bespoke is the New Y’all

September 26th, 2018

For a while, thanks to Joanna and Chip Gaines, everyone was trying to fit “y’all” into their vocabulary. And let’s face it, most of us can’t pull it off. Nevertheless, when there is a new, cool trend in words we’re all faced with a massive case of FOMO.

I get y’all. It used to be a joke, but thanks to the Gaines pair it’s caring and folksy and warm and fuzzy.

What I don’t get is “bespoke.” Within the past two months I have seen the word “bespoke” used in at least two articles a day. Before that I had never seen it, ever. So why now?

Did someone cool say it and release the kraken on the rest of us?

Very honestly, I don’t like the word bespoke. It never seems to fit in or make the sentence flow smoothly, so most of the time I have to look it up to make sure it has been used correctly. Are you trying to make me work harder? Is that what this is about?

Just this morning I saw an article with this headline:

Kia Makes Statement With Bespoke Telluride Reveal

So once again I had to look up the meaning of bespoke. Made to order? Did that headline make sense? Once again, did the word bespoke enhance the headline in any way? I can’t see it. Not that bad – you say. Well try a few of these on for size:

  • New York Philharmonic Opens its Season with Bespoke New Works
  • The Rise of Bespoke Beauty and Wellness Industry
  • Guinness World Records Teams Up with Deliveroo to Launch Bespoke Brand Edition
  • Get Bespoke E-Commerce and Digital marketing Solutions at Emirates Graphics

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, after listening to me whine about this enigma wrapped in a riddle, one of my esteemed colleagues dug this up from the NYT archives:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/12/fashion/mens-style/bespoke-word-meaning-usage-language.html

Bespoke water, yeah I remember being confused by that, and that was in 2016. Things have only gotten bespoke worse since then. The writer seems to think this overused term is employed to drive up the price of just about anything, because it connotes custom-made, sort of. Yeah, I’m not grasping the concept of custom-made water either.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is: I hope all y’all will help me understand the overwhelming phenomenon that is “bespoke.” But, if you get an additional $50,000 on your house sale because the realtor labeled it bespoke – I want to know.

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