More “Zen” in the News

Yesterday the New York Times Carpetbagger blog put up a post with Zen the adjective: L.A. Dispatch: A Moment of Zen. Rev. Danny Fischer has previously kvetched about the implacable writers who use the word Zen in pop-culture because it doesn’t cling to its etymological roots. As I mentioned before, this pop-use of Zen is a little different from the use of Zen as a noun. Anyone who reads this is probably well-aware of this by now, but as for me, I have only just started to realize that this adjectival sense of Zen runs along the lines of “cool”, “dispassionate” or “untroubled”. Somehow, I’m perfectly fine with this. But then again, I don’t identify myself as a Zen practitioner. I haven’t yet scanned anything that the Buddhist language police’s written about this headline, as I’d seen over a similar gripe regarding a New York Times article was that mentioned the Zen Obama. I guess they’ve gotten it out of their system!

2 Replies to “More “Zen” in the News”

  1. It finally occurred to me recently that getting people to stop using “zen” incorrectly is like trying to stop the “WAASSUPPP” joke. That’s not going to happen for a while. Ah well, c’est la dukkha.

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