Monday, November 19, 2007


I'm very sorry to say that I've come across another terrible word in our english language. The MAJORITY of the word I'm talking about connotes badness and regret, and yet with a little prefix, the meaning is changed to mean the exact opposite.

"Gee, too bad. It sucked so bad, I tried to forget it. It was totally forgettable"


"We'll go on some unforgettable dream-vacations this summer."

What a fucking terrible word. 'Unforgettable' doesn't make something good. It just makes it not possible to forget. Getting put into a stress position by an interrogator at Guanatamo might be unforgettable, but that doesn't mean it was fun. It just means it was memorable. There's a better word, 'memorable', but again you've told me nothing.

"It was a memorable time"

Yes. Yes the fuck it was a memorable time because you remember it but HOW WAS IT? Still I know nothing, theoretically, about what happened.

'Memorable' and 'unforgettable' should not be used as written-only words because they only assign qualitative value to an event or memory based on how they are spoken.

Let's go deeper: This kind of stuff happens all over our language. Uphemisms and cliches. Someone decided 'unforgettable' and 'memorable' were going to be glass-half-full kind of words and they would insinuate a benevolent memory that makes good feelings happen.

How about we replace these words with "inspiring", skipping right past the fact that we remembered the memory, all the way to it inspired us to do something. Then again, it could have inspired you do go rob a bank. so we need to modify that with a solid qualitaive word. "Awe." "Awe inspiring..." now that's a good idea. Inspire something; how about awe. Now we're definitely brimming with good stuff, not just insinuating good stuff.

'it was a vomit-inspiring roller coaster'

I'm not suggesting we take things this literally, but its food for thought

1 comment:

bill voigt said...

Nat King Cole would be so disappointed.