By Arthur Plotnik
Deft compliment encourages others to believe as we do, proportion our enthusiasms. It rewards deserving gadgets of admiration. It persuades humans to take sure activities. It sells things.
Sadly, during this "age of awesome," our phrases and words of acclaim are exhausted, all yet impotent. then again, we discover ourselves defaulting to such ordinary offerings as "good," "great," and "terrific," or inventory synonyms that tumble out of a thesaurus -- "superb," "marvelous," "outstanding," and so on. The piling on of intensifers similar to "totally" basically makes issues worse, whereas detrimental modifiers ("incredible," "unreal") render our universal parlance approximately tragic. until eventually now.
Not to mince phrases, wunderkind of word-wonks Arthur Plotnik is proffering a well-knit wellspring of important and wondrous phrases to rescue our worn-down utilization. Plotnik is either hella AND hecka as much as the duty of rescuing the English superlative, providing readers the chance never to be perplexed of compliment and acclamation!
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Additional info for Better Than Great: A Plentidinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives
We love to do it. In the course of civilization, we have praised and acclaimed our divinities, heroes, beauties, works of art, and just about every other source of wonder or delight. Praise challenges us to reveal our passions and powers of expression. Deft praise encourages others to feel as we do, to share our enthusiasms. It rewards deserving objects of admiration. It persuades people to take certain actions. It sells things. And so each day we try to express acclaim for exceptional things: a new sushi joint, vacation spot, comedy, sports hero, love interest.
Fading or not, certain acclamatory terms—great, amazing, brilliant, terrific, and wonderful among them—continue to serve as what Stuart Berg Flexner described as “blurred words”:“… used quickly and without much thought, almost as automatic responses, because they are easily available…. The words are not always precise, which is one reason we like them so much…. ” Unfortunately, wanting does not do the job. For serious word users, it is invention, experimentation, discovery, and open-mindedness that puts the grrr back in terms of acclaim.
Arcane options (like Dhaulagirian, after a soaring Nepalese mountain) have interesting but limited uses. Popular slang gets old in a wink, though it often enjoys a retro vogue. One way to build a supply of uncommon superlatives would be to pore through several lexicons—hundreds of thousands of words and expressions—for new, underused, recyclable, intensifiable, and tweakable candidates. And then do the recycling, intensifying, and tweaking to come up with a body of suggestions. Only a word-wonk would leap at such a task.