Wanted: A Viable Replacement for the word “Pray”
I recently heard a friend say that she is going to “put it out there to the universe” that a good opportunity come along in the next year. That’s when I realized, as a society, we need a viable replacement for the word “pray.”
I understand that “prayer” mean many things, even for evangelical Christians. But I also understand why many people avoid the word. To many English speakers, it implies a literal petition to a personified deity, and a lot people are uncomfortable with that.
As a result, we hear a lot of well-intentioned but awkward substitutes, such as “Please send positive thoughts to my Aunt Gladys, who isn’t feeling well.”
I don’t have a good idea for a suitable replacement, so I would like to invite readers to give their own thoughts and suggestion in the comments.
Some of the obvious choices are:
1) Keep using “pray,” and rehabilitate its connotation;
2) Use different words in different contexts, such as “Please remember my Aunt Gladys, who isn’t feeling well,” and “I earnestly hope for a good opportunity next year,”;
3) Create a neologism … something like, oh heck, I don’t know, “zorp.” Bad example, but you know what I mean. “Please zorp for my husband and I, as we go through this difficult time….”
4) Find some elegant substitute word in English that can be used in most of the instances that “pray” is used. “Remember” seems like a good start.
Come on, let’s make this happen, people. I don’t want to send any more good vibes anyone’s way. What do you think?