In which it’s Jill’s turn

For the month of December–with bonus posts on November 30 and January 1!–I am delighted to welcome a wonderful assortment of guest bloggers to take over the helm. Please enjoy their generous contributions to the blog this month. My own bloggery will resume January 2. I wish you and yours happiness and health this holiday season. Please note: comments are disabled until my return.

How Big will BIG become?

Have you noticed in the last decade or so that stating an item, a function, a feeling has grown proportionally and exponentially? It is no longer acceptable to just say ‘That was really big!’ Now you must use flowery or bold adjectives such as ‘ginormous’, ‘freakin’ huge’, or my personal peeve, ‘EPIC.’

When did this begin? I remember reading an article where ‘ginormous’ was used for the first time. The writer thought it would be fun to mash the words gigantic and enormous together. My husband thought I had lost my mind when I used it so enthusiastically one story-telling afternoon. But the word stuck around. My six-and-a-half year old first grader uses it often. In fact, her teacher made the class retire the words ‘good and bad.’ No one is allowed to say or write ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in class anymore. Heaven forbid we use it in a sentence at home. The only time she does not catch me saying good is when I tell her ‘Good morning!’ I’m glad because it may prove more difficult to say ‘Top of the Mornin’’ to two little ones.

Now, let’s discuss EPIC. When did everything become epic? And what in the world comes after? There is a movie with this word as the title. I get that one. Hollywood, fairies, humans searching for other life. But hearing every day commercials or reading in print that ‘xyz’ will be of epic proportions is becoming a bit much. Do you agree? What ever happened to legendary or classic? Those words evoke emotional thoughts and responses.  The Wizard of Oz is classic.  Larry Bird and Magic Johnson’s rivalry is Legendary.  Those two sentences probably brought a floodgate of thoughts and emotions and did not sound cliché.

I return to my original question. How big will BIG become? What is the next word to use after EPIC? Epic is the end all, be all. Are we so lazy with our words that this is it? Can we please return to using the word ‘REALLY’ in front of big to describe the size and enormity of the object? It will not be the end of anything.  Promise.

 Jill Knapschaefer