It’s a new year. A fresh slate. A time to look forward with big dreams and high hopes. Which makes today’s choice of words rather ironic. Rather.
And what is the word? I’ll get to that in a moment. But first, let me explain a bit about where I stumbled across the word. I have signed up to receive a small handful of newsletters ranging from politics to photography, from writing to marketing. A motley crew if you ask me — and I’m NOT referring to the music group.
I recently got a newsletter that talked about the new year and suggested an activity for the readers to do. It said that if we hadn’t done that activity, we were retrogrades.
Not quite sure what she meant, I of course had to look it up. Of course.
Retrograde [re-truh-greyd] can be an adjective or a verb. The word comes to us from the Latin prefix retro- that means backwards or in times past. Retrograde means moving backward or declining or deteriorating. Retrograde implies movement toward the past instead of progressing into the future.
If used in connection with art, retro art refers to the pop art of the 1940s. If connected to fashion, it refers to styles that are out-of-date like the poodle skirts of the 1950s and the tie-dyed shirts for the 1960s — or to what’s hanging in my clothes closet right now. (I like to think of my clothing as vintage. My children call them old fashioned. . . .)
The newsletter was about marketing and not about fashion so the writer wasn’t referring to the chic styles from days of yore. Instead, she meant that if we hadn’t done her exercise that would propel our business forward and make us progress to higher heights (and make more money) then we were slackers that were morphing backwards. We were deteriorating in our business instead of improving it and getting ahead.
So, do you see the irony of this post? It’s the new year where people look to the future, set goals, and vow to improve themselves. And today’s word is about regressing. I thought it was funny to use this word at this time.
Don’t look at me like that! I don’t have a weird sense of humor. I really don’t! Have you been talking to my kids??
Ahem. Let’s move on — instead of retrograding.