You’ve probably seen the lists: Top 10 camping hacks, 14 hacks for a more organized fridge…
But the thing about those lists is that they aren’t hacks!
Think about it, to hack something would be to gain entrance or to break into something. You aren’t doing that with the “hacks” that you find on Pinterest and BuzzFeed. In fact, the only definition of hack that fits these lists is to describe the people creating them. That is to say, the writer is a hack, working “especially with mediocre professional standards,” at least I’ll agree with good ole Merriam-Webster on this one.
Don’t get me wrong though, some of the lists are clever, and there have even been a few that I thought were genius, but the 90’s kid in me screams that these are cheats not hacks. When you looked online for codes to unlock levels or to make games easier, it wasn’t called hacking, you were cheating.
Maybe it’s the negative connotation that cheating carries in the world of everyone’s a winner, but I’d like to return to those days when the cheat was the secret to an easier level, even if it is an easier level in life.
So leave the hacking for computers and software, and just call it a cheat or a trick.