Word Abuse: GENIUS


Hold on and think: is what you’re describing really an act of genius?    No, it’s just quite clever, so stop exaggerating.    The same goes for legendary (unless it’s King Arthur), awesome (were you overawed?), classic, classical (1730–1820 only!), and ad nauseam (which rarely describes actual nausea).

The following are also VERY WRONG: fantastic (which can only describe fairytales), brilliant (which can only describe French things that shine), splendid (likewise), sublime (actually means “worse than a lime”), excellent (“former convict”), great (large), good (“covered in goo”), incredible (not believable), amazing (anti-marzipan) and super (“more than soup”).


Oh dear, we appear to have proscribed all positive adjectives!   That’s all right; we only use the negative ones anyway.

Einstein: idiot
[pd]

 

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