Some weeks ago, while reading a magazine article, I came across the word “zoomplomacy”. It is a made-up rather than a proper word but it was not hard to guess its meaning. The word “zoomplomacy” is a combination of two words – zoom and diplomacy. Since the coronavirus started late last year in China and spread to the world, social distancing made it difficult for people to have face-to-face meetings. Many companies and even world leaders used the Zoom app for meetings. The word “diplomacy” means the management of relations between countries through their leaders or their overseas representatives, known as diplomats. The new word “zoomplomacy” means world leaders or diplomats using Zoom to discuss relations between their countries.
I am not sure if dictionaries will classify “zoomplomacy” as a proper word but my guess is the word won’t be used much when there is a vaccine for the coronavirus because face-to-face meetings will then become normal again. The expression “face-to-face” means actually seeing each other instead of using apps like Zoom. Many other words aside from “zoomplomacy” have been invented since the coronavirus pandemic started. The word “webinar” has become popular since the virus started. It is a combination of the words “web” (internet) and seminar. One of the funniest is “covidiot”. This word is a combination of the words Covid -19, the scientific name for the coronavirus, and idiot. It means a person who disobeys social distancing rules.
Hong Kong's tourism industry now often uses the word "staycation". This is a combination of the words "stay" and "vacation". Summer vacations have become impossible because of the pandemic. Most countries have closed their borders to tourists. Hotel rooms in Hong Kong are almost empty because foreign tourists who visit must go through quarantine. The tourism industry believes Hong Kong people can still have a good time staying here for their summer vacation. Many hotels have very affordable “staycation” offers. I was recently at the Hong Kong Disney Hotel to see friends. The hotel has affordable “staycation” offers. I plan to try it.
我不確定各大字典可會將“zoomplomacy”歸類為正統的字，但我估計，當有針對新冠病毒的疫苗面世時，這個字就不會那麼常用，因為面對面（face-to-face）的會議又再恢復正常。習語face-to-face是指面對面交流，而非用Zoom這類的軟件。新冠肺炎全球大流行疫情爆發以來，在“zoomplomacy”以外也新創了許多其他字詞。自病毒出現以來，“webinar”一字就開始流行，它是“web”（互聯網）及 seminar（研討會）的合成字。“Covidiot”也是其中一個很有趣的字，它是新冠病毒的學名Covid -19及 idiot的合成字，意指不服從社交距離規則的白癡。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧