90s boy band gains haloes & gilt picture frame

90s boy band gains haloes & gilt picture frame

Today’s Bristol Live/Post has added another object of religious veneration, i.e. an icon, to the already burgeoning modern pantheon engendered by lazy modern ‘journalism‘ with news of a forthcoming gig in Almondsbury in South Gloucestershire, as shown in the following screenshot.

Headline reads Iconic 90s boyband will play pub festival near Bristol
I expect to find icons in an Orthodox church, not a suburban boozer…

The boyband [sic] in question is Five, who spell it 5ive and it originated from the same stable that sired the Spice Girls, although I can’t imagine they’re doing that well if they’re gigging at a nondescript suburban West Country boozer.

However, the band is just the latest object to be saddled with the I-word, about which your ‘umble scribe has written critically before (posts passim).

However, your correspondent is not alone. Over in the USA, professional writer Garry Berman is equally not enamoured with the adjective, writing a post in April 2022 entitled Can we please stop describing everything as “iconic”?.

In it Mr Berman expresses his frustration with this extensively and lazily used adjective.

The word seems to have become the favorite go-to adjective of newscasters/reporters, commercials, documentaries, magazines, newspapers, and wherever the English language is found in our culture.

US dictionary publisher Merriam Webster has even added the note below to its definition of the I-word.

The original meaning of iconic was essentially “resembling an icon,” but today it often describes what is so admired that it could be the subject of an icon. And with that use, iconic has become part of the language of advertising and publicity: companies and magazines and TV hosts encourage us to think of some consumer item or pop star or show as first-rate or immortal or flawless—absolutely “iconic”—when that person or thing is actually simply widely known and—they assert—distinctively excellent.

Many decades ago, your ‘umble scribe recalls being taught at school that one of the secrets of good writing was to have a good vocabulary. This naturally entailed having a good stock of synonyms – words having an identical or similar meaning, so that specific words do not get overused.

Over at the Word Hippo website, there’s a wealth of synonyms for the I-word, of which a small selection is given below for the benefit of passing, journalists, reporters, broadcasters, etc.

  • archetypal
  • epochal
  • exemplary
  • quintessential
  • emblematic
  • seminal

It is not known whether Five/5ive will be performing wearing haloes, or if the stage will be surrounded by a large gilt border reminiscent of a picture frame, now the band itself has gained the status object of religious veneration thanks to the local press. Perhaps the Reach plc ‘journalist‘ who wrote the piece or the venue itself could clarify matters in the comments below if they happen to be passing. 😀

Author: Steve Woods

Generic carbon-based humanoid life form.