Paladini Potpie

Adventures within The Crust!

Ironic Iconic Questions

6 Comments

The homepage of my e-mail had a story about an iconic picture of a couple kissing during the Vancouver Riots this summer. Their identities had been revealed! Stop the presses!

Iconic picture?

What in the world was so iconic about that picture?  Possibly just the fact that it brought to mind the truly iconic picture of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square on V-J Day.  Or the picture of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr kissing on the beach.

But kissing during theVancouver riots? Hardly iconic.

I got to share this soapbox with my sister, Monica, a few days ago; although she’s not quite as much of a grammar grouch as I am.  She keeps reminding me that we have a changing language and if our language didn’t change we’d still be speaking King James English.

But we agreed on this iconic pet peeve.

The word means “pertaining to, or having the characteristics of an icon.”  It’s representative of something. I get that. But once again, a really great word has been cheapened by overuse.

Maybe I’m too much of a literalist. And as long as we’re talking about icons… When I was in second grade I took my new doll to school and a couple of big girls from the fourth grade admired her.  “Oh she’s adorable!” they gushed.  I was troubled about that for days, literally for days – my little Catholic schoolgirl mind could not grasp how a doll could be adorable.

But now, half a century later I think that’s kind of an adorable memory. Dare I say it’s an iconic memory?

One morning not too long ago another picture on the computer caught my eye. It shows a beautiful woman strolling  along a street in Italy. She was being ogled by about 15 Italian men lounging nearby. It’s an amazing picture. The lights and shadows are perfect, and the photographer captured the decisive moment. I was completely caught up in it – the happy self-confidence of the young woman’s stride, and the varied expressions on each face. My mind filled with “stories” that picture could tell! But then I saw the word “iconic” and I just wanted to scream.

Iconic? Why????

I put the word “iconic” into my search engine and found iconic motorcycles, iconic desks, iconic songs, books, dresses, hairstyles. Every single thing in the world can not be iconic! 

I went into the bedroom where John was doing his morning stretches. I leaned against the doorway, “Say three words.”

“Huh?”

“Just say any three words that come to your mind.” I urged him, “Nouns.”

My sweet husband just gave me one of those looks and shook his head and laughed, “Okay…uh, kickballs, clothespins and chainsaws.”

I returned to my computer.

There were no iconic chainsaws, although right away I found a “iconic scene” from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

I couldn’t find an iconic clothespin, however there  is a so-called iconic sculpture of a clothespin  near the city hall in Philadelphia.

But there was no sign of iconic kickballs.  Hmmm, it’s probably just a matter of time.

Advertisements

Author: paladinipotpie

Welcome! My name is Andrena Paladini and this is a blog about family and love and faith and fun. I call it Paladini Potpie because a potpie is like an adventure in a crust. You never know what might come up, but it’s always going to be good! Think of the best potpie you’ve ever eaten…hot flaky crust holding a rich savory sauce and all kinds of pieces of meat and vegetables…and who knows what? As a family, we’ve chosen to live within the parameters of God’s love and protection. This is the crust of our Paladini Potpie. The crust never changes. Within this crust, the savory sauce of family love binds it all together. That is also fairly constant. But beyond the crust and the sauce we can add just about anything! Good ideas come our way and we’ve adopted and adapted them to add to what John calls our treasure box of memories. These stories and ideas from John’s treasure box of memories are the ingredients I’m putting into our Paladini Potpie. (Okay, so this ridiculous mixing of metaphors about treasure boxes and potpies is exactly what I’m talking about. Silly and ungrammatically correct. But both illustrations work… so we’ll mix them together and it’ll be just fine!) John and I have been married for 30 years. Our children have wonderfully doubled in number since David married Amanda, Monica married Dan, and Matthew married Sarah. And the newest little treats that have been added to our potpie are six adorable grandchildren - Ethan, Angelina, Nathan, Audrey, Maleia and Caleb! I hope you’ll subscribe to my Paladini Potpie blog, and keep up with all the fun new ingredients I add. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our stories and ideas, and find something you’ll want to put into your own potpie! Bon appétit!

6 thoughts on “Ironic Iconic Questions

  1. I’m an iconoclast, myself.

  2. Emily, you are so in my head. I meant to say that somewhere in this post!

  3. Andrena, I share your pet peeve of word abuse, usually manifested as exaggeration. I suppose it’s the engineer in me that is always nagging for accuracy. So much so that my family affectionately mocks my often repeated self-evident admonition, “Words mean something.” Obviously language evolves, and hyberbole and slang are time honored and valid components of written and especially spoken language. Like most people, I often exaggerate, usually as part of an attempt at humor. But in more serious communications, especially written ones, can we go too far as you suggest, like calling unworthy objects iconic? What word shall we use to describe something truly “awesome” now that our culture routinely speaks of awesome breakfast cereals and car sales? Could such reckless use of language result in an entire generation unaware that a hyped up use of hyperbole has robbed their vocabulary of some of its most profound words? (In the wake of the loss of “awesome”, I’m holding my breath in dreaded anticipation of “profound” being the next great word to fall victim to the slangmeisters.) Anyway, I thought your post was insightful — and of course, awesomely incredible and of epic significance, destined to be an icon of superb blogging. A classic. Totally. Seriously. Whatever. 😉

  4. Dad has kickball on the brain? lol

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s