A shot of downtown Columbus in the fall

An eye-catching display of autumn colors.

Courtyard flanked by rows of brightly colored trees in Downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Recently, we were in Columbus, Ohio, to see a hockey match between their Blue Jackets and my Boston Bruins (a gift from my wife). Across from Nationwide Arena is McFerson Commons Park. The sun was casting its light on the trees in the background, which caught my eye, and since we had some time we took a little stroll before dinner. The courtyard was ablaze with rich colors.

Be merciful … retire this word

If everything is described as iconic, it can’t be.

Since I checked my email upon waking this morning, I’ve seen the word “iconic” approximately 4,228 times. It appears ad nauseam in emails, ads, news articles, blogs, YouTube videos—I even saw a trash collector paint it on a dumpster.

People, if everything is described as iconic, it can’t be. The word has lost all contextual meaning.

I’m imploring writers in any cultural variation to stop using “iconic” as their immediate descriptor for anything that has achieved the slightest level of familiarity. Expand your vocabularies; or better yet, stop deifying celebrities.

While you’re at it, please shelve “game-changer,” “these uncertain times,” “amazing,” and “epic.”

That is all.

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