Excellence, Best in Class, World Class, phantasmagorical – wait phantasmagorical? And bippity, boppity boo to you too. Superlatives were invented so that we could have a means to express sheer utter overwhelming wonderful feelings like new love or hard won success. Our heart pounding, breathy JOY that we absolutely must share with the whole world right now or burst. But then they became a marketing tool and teenage girls everywhere just loved every blasted cute little thing.
Tell us what you really think about the use of superlatives, Beth. Super-duper, I will.
I cherish every moment of unadulterated joy that I have ever felt and fervently hope both that I will experience many more and that each reader of this blog has a long list of their own immensely joyful moments. (Superlatives cover that deep, dark end of the emotional spectrum too – but let’s keep this discussion on the high end today.)
But just like antibiotic resistant bacteria, we are running out of meaningful words to describe our true emotional peaks because we emptied out many of the existing words with overuse and misuse. The meaning of excellence has begun to ring hollow when too many claim it without backing it up with real actions. And as for Best in Class and World Class – what do these phrases really mean?
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was a fabulous (superlative) song as Julie Andrews presented it in Mary Poppins, but if we attempt to feel that way all of the time, we become numb to the pleasure. We twirled and whirled around the living room to that song until we were dizzy and giggly, but please don’t mar these special memories by telling me your new product is even better than supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Call attention to your idea, your product, your system by telling me real, solid words that define the usefulness. Work harder to evoke a sustainable, achievable, reasonable explanation of what it can do for me. Don’t co-opt these beautiful superlatives.
Sometimes I think ideas are just in the air, I started this blog post, had to set it aside for a call and happened across this interesting article – Never as Bad as it Looks and Never as Good Either. It doesn’t talk about superlatives, but I think the writer’s point enhances mine. Why is this moment a peak or a valley?
But, Beth, haven’t you advocated fake it until you make it in past posts? Yes, I have so I’ll further define it. What is the best high point of your life? If it was superlative then you can use the memory of that moment for a fake it until you make it moment where you need to be more positive than you currently feel. If you are not a superlative person – say your high point is particularly pleasant – then that is the memory to use to fake it until you make it.
© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations