Yes, it is, but the meaning has changed. The word relatable used to mean that something could be told or that it was connected to something else. Now, it usually describes a situation in which someone has a personal connection to something.
- able to be shown or established to have a causal or logical connection to something
- able to be related to : possible to understand, like, or have sympathy for because of similarities to oneself or one’s own experiences
Relatable is all over the media. Every show, book, movie, news story, tweet or post is relatable to someone. And this isn’t anything new, just something I’ve been thinking about lately.
Professors and high school teachers have bemoaned its overuse and some say that students need to pay attention to things that are not relatable so they can understand them better.
For more information, read Ben Zimmer’s 2010 New York Times article in which he explains the origins of the word, and Rebecca Onion’s 2014 article in Slate, where she says the word’s overuse bothers her. Me? I’m not bothered by it. It may be a lazy way of saying you get something, without explaining why, but it’s an otherwise nice word—and that’s relatable!
What’s your opinion on relatable?
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