Iconic more laconic?

(Canscene) –In one recent section of the Toronto Star I counted the use of the word “iconic” four times. For me   that word’s  becoming as annoying as was “at the end of the day” a few years back. It seems the adjective is being applied far too generously to anything animal, vegetable or mineral.

Naturally, to editors the word is a space saver but it ranks in laziness and inaccuracy with the term “accused murderer” instead of “charged  with murder.”

The Oxford Canadian Dictionary describes iconic as “constituting a cultural icon” in the sense that this or that object stands out above others and whose achievements have  withstood the test of time, not of the past few hours.  As we see, there are icons and icons: Vince Lombardi and Jackie Robinson, William Hutt and Ruth Draper, Al Purdy and Margaret Laurence, Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee,  Willie Nelson and Gordon Lightfoot, Pierre Trudeau and Nellie McClung —   yes, but the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and countless others whose shadows as they pass will leave no impression 20 years from now   —– a resounding NO!


One Response to “Iconic more laconic?”

  1. Frank deBrune Says:

    Like you, I am disappointed with the lack of originality, not to mention the bad spelling and grammar, displayed by so many “professional” communicators these days. Tiresome.

    Your point about “accused murderer” is more important, though, because it cuts to the issue of respect for due process. Sloppy language reflects careless thought and a lack of understanding that being charged with a crime is NOT the same thing as being convicted of a crime.

    This week, many major news sources were heard announcing the detention of Radovan Karadic, “accused war criminal”. Same shoddy mistake.