22 October 2010

Iconic, et al

Recently, I perused the texts of 170 award submittals, and was struck by the repetition of certain words. Iconic loomed large. Now, in the real world, how many icons are there, really? Big cities have one or two. Smaller cities have landmarks, and towns have places that root themselves in local memory. Iconic is a word that time attaches to a place. I don't think it's something that can be claimed at the start. Yet it was claimed constantly in these texts. Is it hubris, or has the word been so devalued that its former singularity has been lost? If the latter, too bad. If the former, it's time to use it properly, which I would say is exclusively past tense.