I remember when I first got into the band XTC. I was tickled that the band’s name was pronounced a little like ecstasy. I mean it was definitely X T C – but I felt it was very clever that XTC sounded like ecstasy. (Also, I loved the band. Still do.) This was before ecstasy was a popular drug. In those days – ecstasy was just an experience you could have – a good one – maybe while listening to music or dancing with our friends.
Then those things turned into the drug. You took ecstasy instead of feeling it.
And now if you’re having an ecstatic moment, someone might describe it as “being on ecstasy” the references reverse – the drug was named after the experience and now the experience is often referenced by the drug.
I’ve never taken the drug myself – though certainly have been touched (literally, of course) by a lot of people on it. Maybe if I had felt the ecstasy of Ecstasy, I wouldn’t resent the drug for co-opting a very nice and useful word. One that used to be a part of some clever word play.


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