Every time I open up the laptop, it seems, Taylor Swift is in another feud, or someone is in a feud over Taylor Swift, or Taylor Swift said something to provoke a feud between two other people.
But here’s the thing: These are not “feuds.” A feud is a “state of prolonged mutual hostility.” The Hatfields and McCoys were in a feud. Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had a feud. Letterman and Leno were in a feud. Donald Trump and common sense are in a feud.
But these things that Taylor Swift are involved in? They are not feuds. They are, at best, tiffs. Potentially squabbles. Maybe online skirmishes, tussles, or fracases. But feuds, they are not.
Let’s investigate three of the most recent Taylor Swift “feuds.”
Headline: Avril Lavigne VS. Taylor Swift: Fans Speak Out & Take Sides Amidst Online Feud
Content: Avril Lavinge tweeted the following in response to Taylor Swift “liking” a photo online that displayed Swift being friendly with her fans while other celebrities in the photo collage were more standoffish.
Comparison is judging and judging a person does not define who they are it defines who you are. We all Love our fans https://t.co/8kTwBhOtu6— Avril Lavigne (@AvrilLavigne) August 24, 2015
Verdict: This is not a “feud” with Swift. This is a minor scolding, mostly of the fan who posted the photo.
Headline: Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus Feud: Bad Blood Singer’s Reaction to Ex-Disney Star’s Instagram Post Revealed
Content: Miley Cyrus posted a fan-made faceswap photo of Swift and Justin Bieber’s on Instagram with the caption, “If you faceswap Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, they look like a cute lesbian couple.”
Taylor Swift’s response to the photo? “Sending you love,” which the Internet interpreted as “the ultimate act of killing someone with kindness, or the world’s new go-to response for icing out your enemy.”
Verdict: This is not a “feud.” This is Taylor Swift rolling her eyes at a silly photo. This is a “shrug.”
Headline: Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj Feud on Twitter Over VMA Nominations
Content: Nicki Minaj took issue with the fact that her music video did not get as many nominations as she might have liked, and suggested the problem was with MTV’s preference for “slim bodies.” Taylor Swift felt like she was being called out. Nicki Minaj corrected her, and suggested that Swift should also speak to this issue.
@NICKIMINAJ I've done nothing but love & support you. It's unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot..— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 21, 2015
Huh? U must not be reading my tweets. Didn't say a word about u. I love u just as much. But u should speak on this. @taylorswift13— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) July 21, 2015
Verdict: This was not a feud. It was an embarrassing “misunderstanding.”
In sum, Taylor Swift is in a feud with no one, although the passive-aggressive hostilities between Swift and Katy Perry have the makings of a potential feud.