For many years, I was really bothered by the notion of a skort. It wasn’t so much the actual combination of a skirt and a short, because in concept, it’s a pretty good idea, especially for tennis or if you’re pretending to be Marilyn Monroe standing over a sidewalk grate.

No, the problem I had was with the name, “skort.” It was right up there with “spork” (a spoon with fork tongs at the end). Here was another practical invention with a serious name problem … although it was certainly better than “foon.” Somehow skort and spork seemed like a crime against humanity. Or at least a crime against the dictionary.

Personally, I thought whoever came up with skort and spork should be tarred and feathered, or rather tarthered, for brevity’s sake.

Anyway, I had just sort of, kind of gotten used to skorts, when along came “jorts,” which are jean shorts and mostly for men. I suppose the fashion industry thought more men would buy jean shorts if they had a cool name, but this was a major fail because, A) jorts isn’t a cool name, and B) there isn’t a guy on earth who would refer to his jean shorts as jorts.

Skirting the idea of skorts and jorts, I went to the department store to get a pair of jeans but could only find lots of pairs of “jeggings.” Jeggings, I was told by a young salesgirl in the jeans department with obvious impatience, was a combination of jeans and leggings. Again, I didn’t have a problem with the concept, just the name.

“They look like jeans but they feel like leggings,” she had insisted.

“Well, I look like 50 but I feel like 70,” I’d said to her. “What does that make me?”

“Old,” she replied.

Not wanting to make too much of a big deal about this, I tried on a pair without saying the name and discovered that a legging by any other name is still a legging and still did not look good around my “cankles.”

Curious as to how this all became a thing, I wondered if it actually began with brunch. Someone came up with the idea of combining breakfast and lunch and it took, both in name and concept. I’m actually okay with the word brunch, and think it is infinitely better than the alternative (“lunchfast?”).

But then the dog people jumped on the bandwagon and instead of simply calling their mixed breed dogs, mutts, they went all fancy and now we have oodles and oodles of Schnockers and Poogles.

Meanwhile, someone decided to take it all one step further this spring and came up with yet another fashion combination.

“I’m looking for a lightweight, button down jacket,” I said to another salesgirl at the same store where I didn’t get the jeggings.

“Oh we have some great ‘shackets,’” she said. I gave her a blank stare.

“What’s a shacket,” I dared to ask.

“It’s a combination of a shirt and a jacket. It’s heavier than a shirt but lighter than a jacket.” She whipped an item off the rack and held it up for me to inspect.

“Shacket!” she exclaimed triumphantly. “Isn’t it great?”

“Yes,” I replied dully. “Fab-tastic.”
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