It began 44 years ago with one arrest.
Five men were held for breaking into the Democratic National Committee office at the Watergate office complex in Washington D.C. What unfolded was one of the biggest political scandals of all times -- Watergate.
It cost Richard Nixon his Presidency, got the Washington Post a Pulitzer and led to more than half a dozen movies.
Never mind that Watergate was a sought-after hotel and office complex where the burglary took place. The suffix "gate" has stuck as a signifier of scandal. Four decades later, it's still going strong -- from Hollywood's #Celebgate, where private pictures of Hollywood actors were stolen from iCloud to our very own #Porngate when Karnataka MLAs caught watching porn inside the Assembly.
But now -gate has competition.
Enter -exit. The UK's decision to leave the EU - an event termed as Brexit -- has given rise to a new suffix that is as versatile as -gate and can be used for a variety of situations that imply an abrupt change in situation or status quo.
Consider adding these to your lexicon:
1: Rexit: Raghuram Rajan's decision not to continue as RBI Governor for another term. Rexit has been used by at least 10 news sites and anybody who follows news will know what you mean if you mention this word.
2: Nexit: Soon after Rexit came Nexit to refer to poster boy of the corporate world Nikesh Arora's exit from Softbank. It's also used for the possibility of the Netherlands seeking a referendum to leave the European Union.
3. Frexit: Quite self-explanatory; refers to the possibility of France following in Britain's footsteps.
4: Sexit: When you child disturbs a passionately intimate moment between your spouse and you. This is a term doing the rounds on WhatsApp and has what it takes to get viral. It's also been used in the context of a call for India's partial exit from SAARC. Shah Rukh Khan tried to appropriate it too.
5: Texit: When you breakup with your partner via a text message because you cannot handle a face-to-face lengthy breakup. Here's an example: "OMG, I just did a Texit. I'm single again!" It's also the call of Texan secessionists.
6: Dexit: When you take a rain check and ditch a confirmed dinner plan the last minute. Suggested sentence: "Guys I'll need to Dexit. My cat is ill again." Arvind Kejriwal, of course, wants a different kind of Dexit.
7: Twexit: Leaving Twitter for a while because it is taking up too much of your work day. You may also need to twexit if you have itchy thumbs and habitually tweet about a launch, an event or breaking news much before your boss.
For grammar nazis who have long frowned upon -gate as lazy journalism, -exit is preposterous if not downright despicable. But it doesn't look as if this suffix will be making an exit any time soon.
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