IT’S INCREDIBLE!

Have you noticed how everything these days is “incredible”? It’s now the all-purpose adjective or adverb—essentially meaningless.

 Here are just a few examples I have heard in the last few days:
… an incredibly talented pool of people …
… incredible talent off-stage and on …
… it was kind of incredible …
… an incredibly long period of time …
… an incredible public momentum …
… an incredible reputation …
… Vancouver is incredible …
… absolutely incredible …
… that ginger flavour is incredible …
… incredibly beautiful country …
… it’s an incredibly beautiful song …
… incredibly dextrous with their paws …
… an incredible admission …
… he’s incredibly prolific …
… that rainfall was incredible …
… an absolutely incredible sunset …
… it’s an incredible story …

So much, or too much, for that. Talk about over-used words! Once everything that might be startling, amazing, horrifying, heroic, delicious, remarkable, thrilling, interesting, or special is called “incredible” we are left with a word that has simply become an all-purpose intensifier. It even sounds like an important word and as though we know what it means, serving about the same purpose as the over-used “f” word. ‘Tis thus we lose the nuance of expression and the value of language to express the infinite variety of human experience and diction. From my old-age sceptical perspective, it looks like we are giving up the ability to express and communicate our more complex and valuable thoughts and experiences. Maybe we don’t even care anymore as we become increasingly homogeneous, listening to the same music, excited by the same sports, eating the same so-called food, and adopting the same fashions. After all, who would want to be some kind of stuffy, nose-in-the-air intellectual? You can’t make any money that way. Or get elected, as our politicians have found out. 

Does the future consist of text messages, tweets, abbreviations, acronyms, and emoticons? Even “incredible” will have to be abbreviated–way too long for texting. If so, we can forget the language of Shakespeare, Milton, Shaw, and even W.S. Gilbert. So what? Your school will probably have more computers than books anyway, and it only takes two thumbs to text, why bother with handwriting and printed words? Maybe the high point of human civilization was Athens in 500 BC, and it’s been downhill ever since.

Incredible!

Advertisements

About tdurrie

An aging radical with thoughts about society, education, arts, politics, and food.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s