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.
Posted by Rachael King at 6:05 pm
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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! :)
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.
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...)
Oh god, I said it last night in the thank you speech for the best first book award: I called Bill Manhire... (gulp) .... iconic.
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!
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!
i thoughtof a nother word that 'iconic' or 'icon' have been trying to replace: 'landmark'.
Mine is 'literally' used incorrectly. I hear it almost every day on telly. "He literally exploded with joy!" Erm, no.
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