When did we stop living somewhere and start being “based” there, as in “Jane Geist, based in Toronto”?
The term floated around for some years, then came aggressively to my attention when I was introduced to a woman who inquired politely, “Are you based in Vancouver?” and I didn’t know the answer.
Apparently those who simply “live” somewhere do not enjoy the status of those who are “based,” which implies frequent flights from the nest, mostly to do with business. Anyone who has spent any time on business travel knows better, but the illusion persists. Here’s hoping it falls away—along with the “based” word—as we strive to lighten our carbon footprints.
Meanwhile, “based in Toronto” is to be avoided; “Toronto-based writer” is to be strenuously avoided; “A company based out of Toronto” is to be driven from the lexicon.