Monday, July 21, 2008

Grumpy old woman moment #1.

Iconic. The most over-used and misused word in New Zealand today. Just because something is famous or unique, it does not make it iconic.

9 comments:

Gondal-girl said...

The Aussie equal to the NZ iconic is hero. I don't think it is a grumpy old woman moment, if you are a writer you care about words and how they are used. I think if I hear another sportsman or whatevers being called a 'hero' I shall scream. But then I will be called the other word, which is the opposite of 'hero' that is bandied about by everyone, "un-Australian", as if Australia is an absolute....or maybe we are such Iconic Heroes we are beyond this! :)

Jim Murdoch said...

This is reminiscent of the kafuffle a wee while ago when Lauren Bacall told an interviewer on breakfast TV in the UK: "She's not a legend. She's a beginner... she can't be a legend at whatever age she is." It's a fair comment. Many words have been devalued by overuse. You mention 'iconic' but what about 'star' and 'superstar'? Nowadays all you have to do is appear on television and you're a star. It's reminiscent of the cup sizes in Starbucks: 'Tall', 'Grande' and 'Venti' which mix pretentiousness with downright inaccuracy.

Rachael King said...

So...hero, legend, iconic... all relate to people or things being praised. Hmmm. What can this mean?

(I think I've found a new feature for my blog! Stay tuned...)

Mary McCallum said...

Oh god, I said it last night in the thank you speech for the best first book award: I called Bill Manhire... (gulp) .... iconic.

Rachael King said...

Ha ha! That's big of you to admit! Bill is famous and unique, I'd even call him a treasure, but I would not taint him with the iconic brush!

Helen said...

Oh I agree! And I also hate it when people qualify 'unique' as in "very unique" or "quite unique" because surely something is either unique or it isn't? There can't be degrees of unique-ness, right?

Another not really related but kind of related thing I hate is when people (and they are usually people who work in advertising or PR) describe things as "(fill in the blank) with a twist". What the hell does "with a twist" mean, anyway? Usually it means this product/person is not very much like this more well-known product/person but we will link them in this lame way to draw attention to them. (You can tell I spend too much time thinking about this stuff...)

Hurgh! I hate that one so much I acutally shudder when people say it.

There's my ten cents worth!
Helen

Rachael King said...

i thoughtof a nother word that 'iconic' or 'icon' have been trying to replace: 'landmark'.

Rachael King said...

Quintessential.

a cat of impossible colour said...

Mine is 'literally' used incorrectly. I hear it almost every day on telly. "He literally exploded with joy!" Erm, no.