Think before you speak. Choose your words wisely. These are statements that generations before tried to teach us and statements that now, in our superlative saturated world, we should listen to. It is now basic conversation to throw in a ‘super cool’, ‘best ever’ (because simply best wasn’t good enough we have to add ‘ever’), ‘most amazing’, or ‘worst ever’. When it comes to superlatives our society isn’t just addicted to those exaggerated remarks it has overdosed on them. Did I mention ‘epic’? Everything is epic now, even a descriptive whose very meaning is ‘extending beyond the ordinary, very impressive, very great’ has become the most overused adjective in basic conversation and headlines.
So what happens when all the superlatives are used up? Boredom that’s what. When everything is super epic and the best ever, well then there’s no way to differentiate between really cool and just ok. That feeling of impact when genuine excitement or true disappointment is felt is lost because the very meaning of the words has become lifeless. There is no rhythm or fluctuation – the words just become flat.
Today is a race to see who can describe the latest color of lipstick as the best, most amazingly epic hue ever!!! If the headline was ‘Top Lipstick Colors for Summer’, ok, I would probably read that (and I have probably written that) but beyond that I would just feel embarrassed to think about makeup in such a way.
I enjoy Twitter (for about 2 minutes at a time) because if I spend any second longer I feel like my ears are about to bleed. There are only so many ‘epics’, ‘best evers’, and ‘most amazings’ I can read before my brain just turns off. I remember a tweet not too long ago saying ‘See the best picture ever’ – I clicked thinking it would be a National Geographic award winning photo, oh no it was a photo of Christy Turlington with Calvin Klein when they were younger – I appreciate Turlington’s beauty but I clicked thinking I would be inspired not see a social scene pic from the 90s.
What happened to just being ‘good’. Being good in a world with so much bad, tacky, and apathetic behavior is, well…a good thing. Simply having a good day is a true blessing, simply having a good heart is so freeing, and simply seeking a good life is so rewarding.
In the bible we read that when the universe was created, God saw the light that it was good. There’s no epic, there’s no amazing, there’s no best ever – it was simply good. The world gives us light and dark everyday. The world gives life but needs no narrative to prove how ‘totes amazing’ it is.
What makes any story worth reading or any life worth living isn’t the noise, the superlatives – it is the struggles, the progress, the growth, the stillness that resonates to the core of your being and shakes you, inspires you, and reminds you what it is to be alive.
Next time your superlative addiction goes into overdrive, choose instead genuine words like good, nice, kind and you may begin to break that habit before you become a superlative junkie.