"Artisan." Remember the word "artisan?" Perfectly valid word. Described an actual type of thing. Until the ad world got ahold of it, put it on the street, and pimped it out until every last chemical food concoction assembled by robots out of petroleum byproducts was marketed as "artisan." Totally killed the word. "Bespoke?" You're next.
The WSJ today takes note of the fact that "Bespoke," a word that has been used for centuries to describe custom-made suits and menswear, now refers to any god damn piece of shit.
In the New York City area, there are two dozen "bespoke" businesses, including Bespoke Barber Shop, Bespoke Books, Bespoke Surgical and at least one shop simply called "Bespoke."
A company in the U.K. promises "bespoke" cardboard boxes, delivered in two working days. "Bespoke" salads-ingredients of the diner's choice-are all the rage in London. U.S. executives sprinkle conversation with talk of "bespoke deals."
What will be the next perfectly good word to be debased, corrupted, and ruined by the insatiable demands of capitalism's marketing mechanisms? Eh, take your pick.