The author of the article just linked to gives as examples words like “awesome” and “incredible.” At one time, if an author used these terms to describe something, you could be confident that it was indeed highly unusual and impressive – a rare and extremely difficult achievement, a major catastrophe, or what have you. Now, of course, these terms have become utterly trivialized, applied to everything from some fast food someone enjoyed to a tweet one liked. At one time, calling something “awesome” or “incredible” conveyed significant information because these terms would be applied only to a small number of things or events. Today it conveys very little information because the words are applied so indiscriminately.
Friday, June 17, 2022
The assault on meaning …
… Edward Feser: Economic and linguistic inflation. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)