A summer like no other.
A World Series like no other.
A year like no other.
The description “a _____ like no other” wasn’t invented in 2020. It has been used for more than a century: ”It has been a year like no other,” wrote R.M. Squires, summing up the world of dentistry in 1919.
But the phrase was worn to a nubbin over the past nine months by journalists lunging to convey in a handy three-word code the baked-in strangeness and continuous turmoil we’ve been enduring. A branded logo to rubber-stamp this slow-motion train wreck: COVID-19 pandemic meets civic unrest meets economic disruption. Our locked-down society of shuttered schools and struggling restaurants, all playing out against a political clown show that veers from farcical to frightening, sometimes within the same hour.
A presidential election like no other.
A Thanksgiving like no other.
So often was “like no other” flung, at times I wanted to scream, “EVERY year is a year like no other!” Years are unique, like snowflakes. And besides, 2020 is like other years. It’s like 1968, 1945, 1918 ... all the way back to 1066, landmark years where you won’t have to purse your lips and ponder, trying to dredge up a single event. We all know what happened in 2001. Nobody is going to snap their fingers and try to recall what year COVID struck: 2020, a year to remember, whether you like it or not.
To continue reading, click here.