New words – 11 January 2021

Romilly Lockyer / The Image Bank / Getty

chat bench noun [C]
/ˈtʃæt.bentʃ/
a long seat in a public place where strangers are encouraged to sit and talk to each other

In a bid to fight loneliness, Avon & Somerset Police set up a scheme in May to create “chat benches”. Marked with a sign that reads: “Happy to chat bench. Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello,” the seats break down invisible social barriers. Chat benches have since popped up across the globe.
[redonline.co.uk, January 2020]

joy strategist noun [C]
UK /dʒɔɪ.ˈstræt.ə.dʒɪst/ US /dʒɔɪ.ˈstræt̬.ə.dʒɪst/
someone whose job is to help people to be happier

Deeply driven by a sense of social responsibility, Harry, 50, works as a “joy strategist,” helping everyday people and artists like Jay-Z and Lauryn Hill connect their emotional dots. “I have a lot of friends that are healers, therapists, and life coaches, and I realized, that’s not what I want to do — I want to create a strategy around people finding joy and having joy be their North Star,” says Harry.
[Vogue, 23 October 2020]

social recession noun [C]
UK /ˌsəʊ.ʃᵊl.rɪˈseʃ.ᵊn/ US /ˌsoʊ.ʃᵊl.rɪˈseʃ.ᵊn/
a period when there is very little contact between all the people in a society

Typically, in moments of stress, we reach out to people. We spend time with people we love. And now we’re being asked not to do that, at least in physical terms. So I worry that we may incur what I think of as a social recession, with profound consequences for our health, for our productivity in the workplace, for how our kids do in school.
[mckinsey.com, 9 June 2020]

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