That’s “Interesting”

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That’s “Interesting”

I have decided that the world “interesting” should be banned from the English language. The dictionary defines it as “holding attention, arousing interest.” That assumes that your definition of “interest” is outside the financial end.

I find that people use “interesting” as a cover, a blind. They start down a path describing something religious, political, or breed of dogs, and then end the conversation by saying that the topic is “interesting.” That’s like being kissed by your sister, or brother, as the case may be.

It allows the speaker or writer to dodge the issue. They talk for paragraphs about a subject but give no opinion. You are waiting for the decision, the big ending, the meat. And the best they can come up with is “interesting.”

Did you like it, didn’t you like it? Are you for it or again it? Is it good or bad? Black or white? No none of those, just interesting. The word is a way to ensure that your audience has no clue what you think or feel.

You meet a girl and at the end of the night you tell her that you found her “interesting.” What the heck does that mean? It sounds like you are describing a lab specimen. Yecchh

Why can’t people just come out and say what they think? It’s ok to be wrong. And if you learn more, it’s ok to change your mind. What’s the point of discussing things just because they are “interesting.”

Disagreeing is the fiber of life. Do you want to be surrounded by sycophants who just agree agree agree. Have an opinion, make people think. Don’t be “interesting.”

Great novels, great paintings, great music, great speeches. They are GREAT because they say something; they have a side, an opinion, a cause, a topic, a story, a feature, a movement. They are not great because they are “interesting.” War and Peace, Tale of Two Cities, and For Whom the Bell Tolls are great works because they provide a sense of the author, a side, an opinion, not simply an “interest.” We all know the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth symphony because they grab our hearts and hold them. Mark Anthony gives Shakespeare’s words life with “Friends Romans, Countrymen” – we all know that not because we have a passing interest, but because he tells us how to deal with the remembrances of the dead. We aren’t “interested” we are enthralled, focused, and we walk away with something, even sometimes something we don’t like.

We all have opinions about some things, and don’t care about others. Fair enough. So don’t get into things that you don’t care about. To hell with things that are “interesting.” There just isn’t enough time left…

Of course if you don’t agree, you can just find it interesting.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. JVH, Welcome to our postmodern culture where nothing is absolutely right or absolutely wrong. Your truth is just as “good” as my truth. It’s all about the “conversation” not the conclusion. You can state a conclusion but it better be in the form of a suggestion, e.g. “Let me suggest that one way to look at this is___________.” Those of us in the higher ed environment have been aware of this emerging trend. Now everyone is talking about having a “conversation.” Let me suggest that we strike “conversation” from the lexicon and substitute it for a good old fashioned “argument”!! That is the way I feel some of the time. But with that said (to quote another overused expression) the upside to this new trend is that it could help us build some civility into our discourse.
    Just some random thoughts and “suggestions.” 🙂

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