Weekly Word Archives

Weekly Word 10 March 2015

Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015)

Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015)

| ˈlʌɪfstʌɪl |

If you look at the translations of this Weekly Word below, you’ll notice that some of them don’t really have direct equivalents in their own languages; for example, the Japanese translation is simply a Japonized version of “lifestyle” – raifusutairu. True, Spanish, French, Italian, and even German translations for many words are localized versions of English – or the other way around. But English, after all, is closely related to German, and many words of Latin origin – which Spanish, French, and Italian are rooted in – have made their way to English. English and Japanese are vastly different, and the latter gets a lot of loanwords from the former instead of sharing a common root.

To me, this implies that the notion of lifestyle, as something structured, is relatively modern. After all, its unmistakable presence in language as a standalone word suggests that it has attained some form of structure – more in English, perhaps; since the Romance languages still treat it as a phrase that literally means “style of life”.

It’s also quite intriguing that, today, “lifestyle” is also synonymous with home products and similar. Look at the sub-definition below. It denotes things designed to appeal to a consumer by association with a desirable lifestyle. More on this in a bit.

Both BCYF and I have mentioned the word “lifestyle” quite often recently – make innovation a lifestyle, make research a lifestyle, make CSR a lifestyle – all ultimately derived from the phrase “make worship a lifestyle”. Why did I even think of writing about the term itself here? Because the point of The Daily Aloy, and even BCYF you could say, is all about lifestyle. It’s all about accepting that our entire lifestyle has to shift if we are to embrace our innate social responsibility as humans and stewards of creation.

Take note that I said “shift”. I am not calling for a change so radical that we would all become, say, religious ascetics, or worse, extremists disrupting society in a violent manner. God did not make all of us so that we could become clergypeople – He intentionally let us flourish in whatever fields we pursue. And definitely not extremists, who have the tendency to ignore basic human values or rights in their quest for their advocacies. To experience a shift in lifestyle is simply to shift it towards a purpose, a purpose that redefines and illuminates the point of the things we do in said lifestyle.

Rewind back to what I said earlier regarding the sub-definition of lifestyle. It says, “by association with a desirable lifestyle.” What is a desirable lifestyle, anyway? One that brings more comfort and effectivity or efficiency, I would say, based on standard definition and advertising today. But I think we ought to go deeper here. A truly desirable lifestyle, in my belief, is one that is full of purpose, not just a day-by-day stumble or one full of shallowness. Having a purpose in life is, for me, the only way to live a truly desirable lifestyle – a lifestyle acknowledging the constant presence and love of our own God.

What is a desirable lifestyle for you? Comment below!

Definition

noun

  • the way in which a person lives
    • [as modifier] denoting advertising or products designed to appeal to a consumer by association with a desirable lifestyle

Etymology

Life (English, “the existence of an individual human being or animal”) + style (English, “a particular procedure by which sth. is done; a manner or way”).

In other languages

  • Bahasa Indonesia: gaya hidup
  • بهاس ملايو:
    • ڬاي هيدوڤ (gaya hidup)
  • Cebuano: pamaagi sa kinabuhi
  • Deutsch: der Lebensstil
  • Español: los estilo de vida
  • Filipino: pamumuhay
  • Français: la mode de vie
  • 한국어: 라이프 스타일 (laipeu seutail)
  • Italiano: lo stile di vita
  • ភាសាខ្មែរ: របៀបរស់នៅ (rbiebarsanow)
  • မြန်မာဘာသာ: လူနေမှုပုံစံစတဲ့ (luunaymhu ponehcan hc tae)
  • 日本語: ライフスタイル
  • ພາສາລາວ: ຊີວິດ (sivid)
  • ภาษาไทย: วิถีการดำเนินชีวิต (wit̄hī kār dảnein chīwit)
  • தமிழ்: வாழ்க்கை (vāḻkkai)
  • Tiếng Việt: lối sống
  • 中文: 生活方式 (shēnghuó fāngshì)

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