There comes a time when a phrase or expression officially becomes intolerable. The list is long and ranges from people who think "out of the box" and see "paradigm shifts" as a "win-win." You get my point. Well, I'm officially adding anything that that ends in "-ista" to that list. "Fashionista" was irritating enough, though mostly harmless. Merriam-Webster added it to the dictionary in 1993, defined as a designer, promoter or follower of the latest fashions. But now, there are also "frugalistas." A frugalista, according to Target's new ads, is a person who's all about affordable chic. Target.com even now offers a section called "Frugalista Finds," including the Merona Collection Printed Cardigan in Zebra and the Women's Mossimo Kalyssa Ankle Boots in cognac, each for just 29.99! But there is more. Today, Velveeta announced that its "kitchenistas" can help you create affordable meals for less at VelveetaKitchenistas.com. As the dictionary points out, the word "fashionista" (as well as all of the annoying copycat names) is derived from the term Sandinista. Which is really bizarre if you think about it, as a Sandinista is a Nicaraguan revolutionary. I wonder what the Sandinistas, whose beliefs were rooted in Marxism, would have thought about their name being co-opted by big-box retailers and brands of processed cheese. UPDATE: An etymologically minded reader points out in comments that the Sandinistas didn't start this whole thing. Hmm. Perhaps they can help end it, though.
—Posted by Kenneth Hein