Iconic JS Editor Targets a Beloved Adjective
Looks like diction will never be the same.
If you're a Journal Sentinel reporter looking for an adjective to describe Bob Uecker, Ernest Borgnine, Spotted Cow beer or the Milwaukee Art Museum's Calatrava addition (or the Gas Light Building or the Mark di Suvero sculpture at the eastern end of Wisconsin Avenue), dig out your thesaurus. George Stanley, the newspaper's managing editor and an icon in his own right, has put the hit out on the word "iconic."
Iconic blogger Jim Romenesko posted the following email, which was sent to staffers on Tuesday.
It has been brought to my attention that we are seriously over-using the word "iconic."
I could provide examples but would rather not.
It's not a bad word but it is becoming a cliche. Let's try not to use it unless it is truly the best possible word for that sentence.
Searching for "iconic" at jsonline.com turned up 29 stories, blog posts and photo gallery descriptions posted in the past seven days, including an AP report headlined "Iconic Princess Diana dresses fetch $1.2M in UK" (and which Romenesko noted was posted on Tuesday). To be fair, some of these results were stories about the new pope (sure to become a figurative "icon" himself) that mentioned actual icons of the Madonna, etc.
A search of usages within Milwaukee Magazine and on milwaukeemag.com turned up more results than we had time to count (from the beginning of time). We're sure some of these can be explained away, as can uses of "unique" "epic" "suddenly" "largely" and "on the other hand."