Our Woman of the Year Jacinda Ardern started it all with ‘kind’ — kinda corny actually, but there you go.
The word made verbal history when PM Ardern exhorted Kiwis to ‘Be Kind’ at the start of the Covid Stage 4 lockdown.
Unfortuntely, it doesn’t always work out — look at the All Blacks efforts to be kind to the Pumas in the first test two weeks ago.
Miss Sutherland’s warning
Anyway, my English teacher at Wairarapa College, the redoubtable Miss Olive Sutherland, always told us to avoid saying ‘kind of.’
But Jacinda uses the word in a different way.
She means ‘be nice’ ( another word we were told to avoid).
The Oxford English Dictionary says kind means — 1,’Having or showing a friendly, generous, sympathetic, or warm-hearted nature.
2. Agreeable or beneficial: a dry climate kind to asthmatics. [Middle English kinde, natural, kind, from Old English gecynde, natural; see genə- in Indo-European roots.]’
There you have it. Be kind today, we say!
And more ‘Words of the Year’ soon.