Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Mr Gnome's Rest Home for Tired Words

Do you worry about 'overworked' words? You do? Me too.

Take this pair.

Time was when the figurative use of 'icon' and 'iconic' denoted something of an accolade. Big endorsement.

Not any more. Just about anything getting a recognition score of more than five out of ten qualifies for 'iconic' status: 'the Marmite jar, the iconic sine qua non of the British tea table' - and so on....

Having got this far, a chill breeze of self-doubt prompts Mr Gnome to search the blog for appearances of the 'i-words'.

He finds three occurrences with reference to, in order, Valerie Singleton, Mr Gnome himself - and The Wizard of Oz.

Hmm. One rests one's case.

Any suggestions of other words in need of respite care?


brett jordan said...


St said...


Mr Gnome said...

Mr G has long thought the above candidates have been looking more than a little peely-wally.

Thank you, gentlemen

St said...

Peely-wally was a new one on me and defeated the first three dictionaries I found. It needs far more use. Excellent word.