Jennifer R. Bernstein wasn’t the only one stumped by this sentence, lifted from an article by Michael Hafford in Playboy whose headline reads “F—k Your Chella Bod. I Love Mine As Is and I’m Still Going to Coachella.”
what do words even mean anymore pic.twitter.com/vPDk5msppX— Jennifer R Bernstein (@jenniferrenu) April 15, 2017
Context helps: The story is about preparing for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, an event that’s taken place annually since 1999 and whose first weekend ended yesterday. Still, this particular sentence would have made no sense in 1999 or in 2009, and it would have required some decoding even five years ago. Because I am so old that I pronounce “Coachella” the way most Southern Californians of my generation do, with four syllables – Kids These Days pronounce it “co-chella,”* although this audio guide gives both options – I needed to do a fair amount of research, which I will share with you now.