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Old 05-26-2009, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
4,726 posts, read 10,318,057 times
Reputation: 2595

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I have found that the adjective "great" keeps popping up in thread titles and OPs in a very hyperbolic and hackneyed way. Someone wants to find a neighborhood dating from the 1950s-1970's with "great schools"; another wants a neighborhood with "great family values"; yet someone else is looking for a "great" fishing spot. And, oh yes, someone opined that if too many people learned that Raleigh NC is highly rated, then they will all flood there and the city will no longer be "great". What's up with this language inflation? What's wrong with good schools and good fishing spots? And howzabout just "family values" (code for social conservatives) -- must they also be "great family values"? Did these people ever learn that the adjective is the enemy of the noun?

I'm trying to understand the origin and motivation associated with this inflated linguistic usage. The offenders I've noted seem to be Southerners broadly defined (including Texans). Is this a regional use? In any event, please cut it out -- it's giving me a great headache!

 
Old 05-26-2009, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Midessa, Texas Home Yangzhou, Jiangsu temporarily
1,505 posts, read 3,844,692 times
Reputation: 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjef View Post
I have found that the adjective "great" keeps popping up in thread titles and OPs in a very hyperbolic and hackneyed way. Someone wants to find a neighborhood dating from the 1950s-1970's with "great schools"; another wants a neighborhood with "great family values"; yet someone else is looking for a "great" fishing spot. And, oh yes, someone opined that if too many people learned that Raleigh NC is highly rated, then they will all flood there and the city will no longer be "great". What's up with this language inflation? What's wrong with good schools and good fishing spots? And howzabout just "family values" (code for social conservatives) -- must they also be "great family values"? Did these people ever learn that the adjective is the enemy of the noun?

I'm trying to understand the origin and motivation associated with this inflated linguistic usage. The offenders I've noted seem to be Southerners broadly defined (including Texans). Is this a regional use? In any event, please cut it out -- it's giving me a great headache!
Great post!
 
Old 05-26-2009, 02:58 PM
 
19,922 posts, read 9,986,639 times
Reputation: 27341
Oh great!
 
Old 05-26-2009, 03:14 PM
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Location: Ohio
16,822 posts, read 33,206,690 times
Reputation: 13610
Things like that can really grate on your nerves.

I'm in Texas, but I'm not aware of this adjective "inflation" as a local speech pattern. People I've known in certain professions like sales and PR tend to be prone to using this kind of hyperbole, but AFAIK it's more of a personality issue than a regional issue.
 
Old 05-26-2009, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
186,984 posts, read 76,878,373 times
Reputation: 130259
Wouldn't it be great if this was the only problem facing us today?
 
Old 05-26-2009, 03:25 PM
 
Location: NW San Antonio
2,953 posts, read 8,623,528 times
Reputation: 3211
Oh great, this is grating on my nerves
 
Old 05-26-2009, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
4,726 posts, read 10,318,057 times
Reputation: 2595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
Things like that can really grate on your nerves.

I'm in Texas, but I'm not aware of this adjective "inflation" as a local speech pattern. People I've known in certain professions like sales and PR tend to be prone to using this kind of hyperbole, but AFAIK it's more of a personality issue than a regional issue.

Actually, I suspect that you are correct and that the tendency to over-use "great" when traditionally "good" would do is correlated with a particularly pollyannaish personality style. Further, I think this is likely to reflect an expectation that one should actually be entitled to "great" quality in such human, political institutions as public schools or natural phenomena like fishing holes. It would be funny if it weren't so possibly tragic, in terms of a citizenry and electorate who can't see the forest of human suffering for the trees of their Great Aspirations and "great family values".
 
Old 05-26-2009, 06:31 PM
 
9,912 posts, read 12,470,050 times
Reputation: 7280
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjef View Post
Actually, I suspect that you are correct and that the tendency to over-use "great" when traditionally "good" would do is correlated with a particularly pollyannaish personality style. Further, I think this is likely to reflect an expectation that one should actually be entitled to "great" quality in such human, political institutions as public schools or natural phenomena like fishing holes. It would be funny if it weren't so possibly tragic, in terms of a citizenry and electorate who can't see the forest of human suffering for the trees of their Great Aspirations and "great family values".
Now, now doctorjef don't be picking on the Pollyanna!

There's nothing wrong with people aspiring to greatness and I think we all do on some level. I doubt folks wake up and think, "right what can I do to ensure my mediocrity today?" We all want something better, we probably all just have different ways of articulating it.
 
Old 05-28-2009, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
11,722 posts, read 11,543,470 times
Reputation: 12484
Wow, a simple question and all of a sudden it relates to being a Pollyanna, citizenry, electorate and family values??? Geesh!!!
 
Old 05-28-2009, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,819,531 times
Reputation: 18992
Quote:
Originally Posted by susancruzs View Post
Wow, a simple question and all of a sudden it relates to being a Pollyanna, citizenry, electorate and family values??? Geesh!!!
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