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Is There a "Brilliant" Epidemic?

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Kewho Min asks, "Are we being too liberal with our use of the word 'brilliant'"? Are people saying brilliant, when they might actually mean excellent?

Published in: Economy & Finance
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Is There a "Brilliant" Epidemic?

  1. 1. THE "BRILLIANT" EPIDEMICbyKewhoMin
  2. 2. 3 THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU CALL SOMETHING OR SOMEONE “BRILLIANT" IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant?
  3. 3. IN EUROPE, “BRILLIANT!” IS THE COLLOQUIAL RESPONSE OF AGREEMENT, THE EXCLAMATION OF SHARED ACCORD. IT’S WHAT YOU SAY WHEN YOU HEAR GOOD NEWS OR CELEBRATORY ANNOUNCEMENTS —OR ANY OTHER DISCLOSURES THAT ARE AT LEAST MODERATELY AGREEABLE. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant?
  4. 4. BUT HERE’S WHAT “BRILLIANT” IS NOT: A CATCHALL TERM TO DESCRIBE EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE WHO IS SMART AND/OR TALENTED AND/OR INNOVATIVE. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant?
  5. 5. AS AN ADJECTIVE, “BRILLIANT” HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST OVERUSED WORDS WHOSE FREQUENCY ALONE HAS BEGUN TO UNDERMINE ITS SEMANTIC VALUE. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant?
  6. 6. MY RECOMMENDATION? SELF-INTERVENTION. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant?
  7. 7. YOU CAN PREEMPT YOUR NEXT CALLING- THINGS-BRILLIANT- THAT-PROBABLY- AREN’T OFFENSE. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant?
  8. 8. JUST ASK YOURSELF THREE QUESTIONS. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant?
  9. 9. QUESTION #1 ASK YOURSELF,“AM I TALKING ABOUT PRINCE?” IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant?
  10. 10. IF THE WEEKS FOLLOWING PRINCE’S DEATH HAVE TAUGHT ME NOTHING ELSE, IT’S THAT PRINCE IS, AMONG COUNTLESS OTHER THINGS, AN AGREED UPON BENCHMARK FOR BRILLIANCE. SO, IF YOU’RE SECONDS AWAY FROM CALLING SOMEONE OR SOMETHING BRILLIANT AND YOU’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT PRINCE OR ONE OF HIS SONGS, THEN THINK AGAIN. IS THAT SO-CALLED BRILLIANT PERSON OR THING THAT YOU’RE ABOUT TO EXTOL IS NOT AS BRILLIANT AS PRINCE? PROBABLY NOT. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant? WHY PRINCE, YOU ASK?
  11. 11. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant? QUESTION #2: ASK YOURSELF,“AM I JUST BEING LAZY?”
  12. 12. TOO OFTEN, PEOPLE SAY BRILLIANT, WHEN THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY MEAN EXCELLENT OR SPECIAL OR TERRIFIC OR INSIGHTFUL OR INNOVATIVE OR TOP-NOTCH OR SPOT-ON. MOST HUMAN BEINGS ARE SLUGGARDS WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT WORDS TO SAY WHAT WE MEAN. DIG A LITTLE DEEPER INTO THE NOMENCLATURE OF POSITIVE APPRAISAL. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant? WHY LAZY, YOU ASK?
  13. 13. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant? QUESTION #3: ASK YOURSELF,“HAVE I ALREADY CALLED SOMEONE OR SOMETHING ELSE ‘BRILLIANT’ TODAY OR THIS WEEK?”
  14. 14. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant? FREQUENCY COUNTS. YOU’RE PROBABLY BEING TOO LIBERAL WITH THE WORD IF YOU’RE SAYING IT 20 TIMES A DAY AND YOU’RE NOT ATTENDING A TED CONFERENCE OR A MENSA MEETING. MONITOR FREQUENCY WITH THE GOAL OF BEING MORE SELECTIVE AND SINCERE ABOUT WHEN YOU USE IT.
  15. 15. IsEveryone(andEverything) ReallyBrilliant? SO PLEASE, PEOPLE, TAKE A BREAK FROM SAYING ‘BRILLIANT.’”
  16. 16. THEEND Thishasbeenapresentationby KewhoMin

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