Thursday, June 9, 2011

terrific is terrific.

i go through phases where i use specific words or phrases. all the time.

you've done it too. i think we all do it.

for a while, i said PSYCHO! a lot. and then it was SCORE! and then SWEETNESS! and now i say EPIC! just like everyone else. i really think that we overuse the word epic. and when this happens, it begins to lose meaning.

saying "i love you" lost its meaning forever ago. and that makes me ridiculously sad.

but this isn't about saying i love you. this is about how suddenly we've forgotten about the word terrific.

terrific is a terrific word.

english is BY FAR the most verbose language ever constructed. we have so many words that 47,156 of them are considered obsolete like that cell phone you got last year. that's 47,000 words that nobody uses at all. we have so many useless words that nearly everything has a synonym. this is pointless for everyone except poets. english is the best language for poetry because there are so many words to choose from to get the right feel, the right rhyme, the right connotation.

but other than that, english is just teeming with pointless words.

i have this fear that the word terrific is on its way to becoming obsolete word number 47,157. nothing is terrific anymore. things are awesome, great, cool, epic, baller (where the hell did we come up with that one?), tight, sweet, real, fresh, sick, legit, and kickass.

nobody says, "hey, i just played this super cool game. it was terrific."

i personally think that terrific is a terrific adjective. it's terrific enough that it has three definitions according to this guy.

that's merriam webster, by the way.
1. extraordinarily great or intense. doesn't that sound better than 'epic' to you?
2. extremely wonderful. that sounds better than 'nice' when talking about your vacation spot.
3. causing terror; terrifying. i think it's cooler to say, 'that was terrific' instead of 'oh my god i was so scared i shit my pants.' it's probably more adult, as well.

terrific originates from the latin word terrificus way back in the 1660's. the latin definition is to frighten or to be frightened, but somehow, we adapted it to mean excellent and remarkable in 1888. i'm not entirely sure how we accomplished this. but then again i'm not entirely sure how or why english is the most spoken language in the world because english just doesn't make sense.

i'm not really sure why i'm hung up on the word terrific. it's possible that i am because it's a terrific word and it hasn't been lowered yet. "i love you" has been lowered with so many other words, like good, great, epic, awesome, cool, and pretty.

when words get lowered in meaning like that, it just makes me sad.

i'm not expecting obsolete words like roinish (that means scabby) to come back any time soon, but it would be nice if someone said terrific instead of epic every once in a while.

i'm terrific, you're terrific, we're terrific, they're terrific.

terrific is terrific.

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