Lately, I’ve noticed an explosive proliferation of articles about “hacks”: cleaning hacks, cooking hacks, travel hacks, life hacks—even bathroom hacks. Bathroom hacks? I understand how the word applies to video games and computers, meaning an expert’s cheat, security circumvention, secret shortcut, or clever tip—but it seems strange to me when applied to life and bathrooms.
In the good old days—before Trump was elected—we got along just fine without this ugly word. I guess if Heloise were starting her helpful household column today, it’d be “Hacks from Heloise.”
And I’m especially confused about applying this term to people. How can a person be a shortcut? Or a tip? Can you explain it to me? Why do people who read my writing keep calling me a hack?