Tuesday, March 19, 2013

That’s Interesting…

Just one word can say a lot. Some words are very specific in meaning and are instantaneously telling when used. For example “stodgy” and “vapid” are synonyms of “boring”, yet they have very different nuances; “stodgy” brings to mind something old and dreary (and my mind jumps to that stereotypical professor with those round patches on his jacket), while “vapid” brings to mind something empty and lifeless (like a life-size doll of a person). These two words may share some similarities, but the difference between them is vast.

However, some words are so vague that they can have many meanings and therefore mean practically nothing, like the word “interesting”. “Interesting” is so open that it can mean practically anything. It could mean “good” and “fun”, but it could also mean “stupid” and “ugly” (given the right situation).

“Interesting” has to be one of the most overused words used (and I know I use it all the time). It’s just such an easy adjective to use and it often just pops right out of my mouth without any thought, even though there are better more descriptive adjectives for a given situation. Sometimes it’s used sincerely (and something or someone really is interesting and intriguing), while other times it’s used to soften the blow. Like when someone says, “That’s interesting…” and the real meaning is “That’s stupid” (which is all implied in the tone of voice). So when someone says the word “interesting” I often think in my head, “Is this a good interesting or a bad interesting?” Because “interesting” is a word that’s often up for interpretation.

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