Running out of superlatives

A recent invitation to a launch event referred to it as a “unique” initiative that it had been “modelled” on another!

Hmmm. When is “unique” not “unique”? Well certainly, it can’t be unique, if it is copied! Similarly, when is “exclusive” not “exclusive”? When it is widely available, I guess!

It’s symptomatic of the way that we have to reach for ever more sensational language as we battle to excite our audiences.

Perhaps the most obvious example of this dumbing down of our language comes from the other side of the pond. To our transatlantic cousins, just about everything now is “awesome” and sometimes even “totally awesome”.


“Awesome!”

My favourite example of that was standing in the crowd at the Epcot Center waiting for the fireworks.

The first couple of rockets had just lit up the night sky when the woman in front gripped her partner’s arm and exclaimed loudly: “Gee, honey. That’s awesome!”

The fireworks display did become pretty impressive, but at that point it was definitely not yet “awesome”.
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