I’m at home today, with the worst head cold I’ve had in years, feeling sorry for myself. So, that might be why I’m also at ‘peak’ belligerence. Seriously, enough is enough. Yes, I like a nice cliche and a hackneyed expression as much as the next person (inserts notional smiley face), but it’s time to pick up the red pen and strip the word ‘iconic’ from the language. There’s a call to arms coming, so I do hope you’ll join me. Why must everything be ‘iconic’ and is something of less value if it isn’t? Here are just a few recent examples, some from people who ought to know better:
If you’ve ever had the misfortune to watch the Wheeler Dealers TV show, you’ll know it’s also liberally peppered with the offending word.
2) Hinduja Group Formally Acquires Iconic London Building
A headline from yesterday’s NDTV about the purchase of Churchill’s old war office at 57, Whitehall. Bear in mind, most people don’t even know this building and couldn’t point to it on a map. But, according to Visit London, the city is home to some of the world’s most…you guessed it… iconic buildings in the world.
3) Here’s a photo I took at the National Theatre on Monday night:
Disappointing, I felt, in a building full of some of the most brilliant, creative minds we have. Alice is Wonderland is so many things, unique, witty, entertaining, meaningful and, yes, important.
4) My God, there’s even an iconic estate agent. Thank you, Norwich.
I have no objection to the word itself, just to its overuse and the fact that it has been rendered so meaningless.
Here’s how the online Oxford Dictionary defines ‘iconic’