“O, come let us abhor him, Christ the Lord.”
That was the first in a number of high profile appearances of the verb ‘to abhor’ (and all its relative forms) in what can only be described as the wrong places. Songs of Praise viewers were treated to not only an apparently blasphemous outpouring by the ‘Carols at King’s’ congregation, but also by the on-screen subtitlers.
This was swiftly followed by the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, finding all uses of its name replaced with Ann Abhor. Residents were perplexed to find that even permanent structures and official government buildings, as well as all documents, carried the new appellation. The arboretums of Barcelona, Lima and Santa Fe followed suit, swiftly becoming ‘Abhoretums’, doubly confusing the largely Spanish-speaking local populations because ‘Abhoretums’ is not, and never has been, a word in the English language.
These ‘Abhorrent Apparitions’, as they had become known, showed no sign of stopping, and even words that appeared only superficially related were also affected. Aboriginal populations became ‘Abhoriginal’, the Chilean footballer Arturo Vidal became ‘Abhorto’, and many other words suffered from the same linguistic shift.
The events of the Abhorrent Apparation phenomenon, as it has become known, lasted for just over eleven months before disappearing, in what appeared to be a simultaneous reversal to the former names of people, places and objects.
As yet no explanation has been found for this unprecedented and disconcerting event.