COMMENTARY · 11th October 2012
Working for the Kitimat Daily, there are actually two words I have really grown to dislike. One of these words is thrown around so much, by so many different people, it literally has no meaning anymore.
It can be compared to the word nice. The word nice has been used so often, it doesn’t mean anything or is used for sarcasm. As in: “That’s nice.” “You look nice.”
The word in question is ‘positive.’ Positive is used to put a positive spin on anything, make it sound better. It’s an unnecessary adjective, opinion and, once you’ve heard it for the thousandth time, makes the speaker look like they do not know what they’re talking about.
Why? It has been used too many times. It is almost the only word which is used to replace good.
If you look at the context where it is used, it’s often used trying to urge people to think the idea is good, rather than make up their own minds. This is usually in sentences like: “This is a positive thing for the community.”
It can also be used as an attack or belittle someone: “You need to be more positive.” There is also its reverse attack: “Stop being so negative.”
Not everything is going to be great. Not every piece of news is going to be good. Things go wrong, bad things happen. If everything needs to be… positive… then you are not being realistic.
Someone once told me that a news source which only prints good news is not a source of news at all, it’s simply a front for public relations.
What I’d recommend to solve this problem. Pull out a thesaurus and find a new word to replace positive in the political dictionary. I recommend the word pregnant.
Pregnant has also grown to mean positive over the years and people will look slightly less silly when they use it in this context.