Today’s pervasive sense of social fraying is exacerbated by a proliferation of weird language. National anxiety will find political expression.

Never mind the secretary of homeland security calling the southern border “closed,” a garden-variety fib refuted by graphic journalism. And disregard the Biden administration, the supposed restorer of norms, violating not only norms but possibly also laws. A norm: President Biden waited until after the Senate confirmed Lina Khan as a member of the Federal Trade Commission to announce that she would be chair. A law: It is illegal for tax-exempt churches to engage in political activity, but Vice President Harris has made a video, to be played in Black churches in Virginia, advocating the election of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

People expect no better from government officials, who are puzzled by voters’ reluctance to trust them with multiple-trillion-dollar tranches of their decreasingly valuable money. Speaking of inflation:

Travelers increasingly find cards in their hotel rooms saying, or implying, approximately this: “This facility is so distraught about our imperiled planet that your sheets will not be changed daily unless you selfishly insist.” Perhaps altruism actually motivates this money-saving policy. Conceivably, however, inflation is involved: When a business’s costs go up, it can pass the increase along to customers — or it can cut other costs by eliminating services.

The Federal Reserve, which did not foresee today’s inflation, foresees it being “transitory.” Meaning that it will not be forever. But, then, the laws of thermodynamics suggest that pretty much everything in the universe is transitory. What matters is how long things will last.

Or which large numbers of dollars to worry about. A recent New York Times article was about the “glut,” “dizzying amount” and “avalanche” of third-quarter campaign contributions to House and Senate candidates of both parties. The Times was astonished by the sum $450 million. This is 4.5 percent of the $10 billion that Americans are spending this year on Halloween candy and paraphernalia. Or 0.128 percent of the $3.5 trillion price (itself a substantial understatement) of the Build Back Better legislation that the Times endorses and that even-more-progressive people consider skimpy. Those who are alarmed about the amount of money in politics might consider reducing the amount of politics in the distribution of money.

Ohio has been added to the list of now 19 states — containing more than a third of the nation’s population — that California’s government says it will not pay travel expenses for state employees to visit. Ohio has offended easily offended California by allowing physicians to refuse to perform procedures (e.g., abortion, gender-transition surgery) that violate their convictions.

History’s largest U.S. infrastructure debacle — the maybe, sort-of high-speed Los Angeles-to-San Francisco rail project — was supposed to cost $33 billion and be completed last year. Today’s fantasy cost is $98 billion — expect the guess to triple again — and construction of the first leg, connecting Bakersfield and Merced, is scheduled to begin in 2029. Consideration is being given to using conventional — not high-speed, not green — diesel trains of the sort that already connect Los Angeles and San Francisco (as do planes, cars and buses).

Walgreens is closing five more stores — bringing the total in recent years to 22 — in San Francisco, where laws against brazen, large-scale shoplifting are often unenforced. In Chicago, a police report says that prosecutors told investigators there would be no charges in a deadly gunfight between two factions of a street gang because the fighters were “mutual combatants,” meaning they were consensually trying to kill one another. Portland, Ore., the nation’s 26th-largest city, is in the second year of riots, originally about George Floyd, today perhaps for fun, and an officer explained why police did not intervene in last week’s episode of fires and smashed store windows: Pending “clarity,” police are following “the most restrictive interpretation” of a new state law limiting crowd control measures.

In June, when Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra testified to a Senate committee about “birthing people,” a.k.a. mothers, he was already falling behind the swift evolution of progressive nomenclature. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s revised “lactation-related language” respects mothers by identifying them as “human milk-feeding individuals.”

Almost nothing infuriates people as much as inflation — government’s failure to preserve the currency as a store of value. Even more infuriating, however, is a pervasive sense of arrogance and disorder, which now includes public officials and others propounding aggressively, insultingly strange vocabularies. Next November, there might be a cymbal-crash response to all this.