Are socialites still socializing?

One of our favorite journalese descriptions is “socialite.” You never hear someone say, “She’s a socialite, the widow of Throckmorton Moneybags III.” Or, “I’m inviting several socialites to our dinner party.” You only see the word in news stories. The Merriam-Webster definition of a socialite is: “a socially prominent person.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English language is more specific: “One prominent in fashionable society.” Of course, the word is sexist. You never see a man identified as a socialite, even though some may be socially prominent or a big-shot in fashionable society, whatever “fashionable society” is supposed to be. However, I expect that if a group of well-heeled leftists held a fancy fund-raiser for Bernie Sanders, the headline could read: “Socialites socialize for socialist.”

What brings this on is an item in today’s (Mar. 3, 2018) syndicated “This Day in History”: “Birthdays: Socialite Lee Radziwill is 85.” Nice to know that socialites still exist in these politically correct days.

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