By Arthur Plotnik
Deft compliment encourages others to consider as we do, percentage our enthusiasms. It rewards deserving items 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. however, we discover ourselves defaulting to such routine 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 resembling "totally" simply makes concerns worse, whereas adverse modifiers ("incredible," "unreal") render our universal parlance approximately tragic. till now.
Not to mince phrases, wunderkind of word-wonks Arthur Plotnik is proffering a well-knit wellspring of helpful 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, supplying 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
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUPERLATIVES Superlatives are—or should be—powerful terms, proclaiming superiority with persuasive force. As with all things potent, their mishandling can blow up in one’s face, so to speak. How can a term of praise, approval, and acclaim misfire? In several ways, including inappropriateness, overkill, insincerity, and downright impotence. In order to grab attention in a world of sensory overload, most terms of acclaim are exaggerations. A pile of french fries hardly makes us tremble in awe, yet we call it awesome, exaggerating for the sake of persuasion.
Bail out! ref. “unbodied joy” (—Percy Bysshe Shelley, “To a Skylark”) SOURCES Generally helpful reference materials are given in Selected Sources. When a source has been uniquely informative about a term, that source is also credited alongside the term with one of the following abbreviations:UD—The Urban Dictionary, and urbandic-tionary. —The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang WS—Word Spy GEOGRAPHIC USAGE UK—More common in parts of the United Kingdom CAN—Canadian use AUSTRAL—Mainly Australian use SCOT—Scottish use JAM—Jamaican-influenced NZ—New Zealand use IR—Ireland use FOREIGN LANGUAGES As a rule, the language source is given for terms in use by a number of English-speakers but not yet adopted or adapted as part of the English language, according to major English dictionaries.
But other situations are more delicate, calling for exaggeration that is inventive, tasteful, and infrequent. Too many clever superlatives at once can make one too clever by half, as they say. Choosing among terms in any thesaurus-type work requires one to consider scores of choices—some personally repellent, some seductive—until hitting on one with the best meaning, nuance, tone, and sound for the occasion. And again as with other thesauruses, choice will be guided by whether the term is to be spoken or written, used formally or informally, and targeted to a general or particular audience.
Better Than Great: A Plentidinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives by Arthur Plotnik