Great . . .

There is this old audio clip (remember when actual attachments were the only way to share the funny stuff via e-mail) looking the definitions and uses for the word "f*ck"? Yeah, me too. GOOD times. Best of times.

Anywho - the thing was not only funny, it was true. You could/would/should use "f*ck" for a million things and in a million contexts and be right. Every time.

Do you know another word that seems to have this magical, universal meaning? "Great". But - unlike "f*ck" and the joy and thrill the word gives me . . . "great" does the opposite. It makes my face go all the way frowny. It is decidedly NOT great.

Let me illustrate . . .

  • "Let's watch TV." "Great."
  • "The car has a flat tire." "Great."
  • "We're having tuna surprise for dinner tonight." "Great."
  • "How is the new lead cellist?" "Great."
  • "I have had just enough white wine that you can do that thing to me tonight." "Great."
  • "I don't know what you're talking about." "Great."
  • "You are not the father." "Great."
  • "There are no funds available." "Great."
  • "I went ahead and gave you extra fries." "Great."
  • "How was the game?" "Great."
  • "How was the game?" "Great." (pronounced a different way)
  • "I went ahead and took a lover." (half listening) "Great."
And this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg on how universally applicable and utterly empty the word "great" really is. It doesn't mean anything. It carries no actual weight. It is so abused that even when you DO mean it - in the classic, positive, emphatic way - it is dismissed and minimized and, largely, ignored and undervalued by your listener.

We should broaden our vocabularies and bring more words in to discussions where every one of them has their own actual meaning and value. That would be GREAT.