Yep, that’s right. “Great” is overrated.
For quite awhile, I have been thinking about the possibility of eliminating the word “great” from my vocabulary.
Is “great” a noun? An adjective? An adverb? Or, most likely, all three? What makes it so great to use “great” in a sentence? What is the meaning of “great?”
I always took “great” to mean “large,” as in the phrase, “something greater than myself.” Or, to use examples from the animal world, “great white shark” or “great horned owl.”
Another bothersome point for me is that “great” can refer to things both wonderful, like great art — and devastating, like great destruction during wars or storms.
And, I’m confused why so many of us (myself included) answer “Great!” when asked, “How was your weekend?” Does that one-word response really mean “large?”
It’s almost as if “great” has become an easy catch-all, something we use when we’re too lazy or uncreative to use a descriptive, attention-grabbing word — whether we’re speaking or writing.
What if, instead, when asked by a friend or colleague, “How was your weekend?”, I answered, “Delicious — A friend and I tested several new French recipes on Saturday night and we can’t wait to try more!” Or, “Mind-numbing — I spent the entire weekend working on my tax return!”
And, what if I worked to delete “great,” as an adjective, from my vocabulary?
I might challenge myself to be more descriptive in these instances, as well. Rather than saying, “That was a great concert last night,” I could replace “great” with a more thought-provoking adjective: “That was an emotional concert last evening, don’t you think?” Perhaps this change would open up a real conversation about emotions and feelings around the music for both myself and my concert-mate.
What’s your take on “great? I’m thinking “great” might not be so great any more.