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incredible & incredibly
proliferation of incredible and incredibly
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2012/12/23
1:16pm
ths907
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I would like to know whether others have noted, especially in student papers but also in the media, the proliferation of ‘incredibly’ and ‘incredible’ to mean ‘very’ and ‘very good’ rather than to mean ‘impossible to believe.’

2012/12/23
2:52pm
RobertB
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One good definition I saw: astonishing, as in ‘incredible speed.’

There seem to be more and more overuses of it over the last few years in the media.

2012/12/23
3:48pm
Dick
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I agree that these words are incredibly overused. (uh oh) But “impossible to believe” is not the only valid definition. Robert pointed out the definition, “astonishing.”  Also, “difficult to believe” is a good definition. So I don’t think most people incorrectly use these words, they just overuse them.  I was just wondering if everybody only said “very” and “very good” how soon we would get tired of hearing that.  Variation is a key to interesting conversation.

What other words or phrases could be used?

2012/12/23
6:48pm
Ron Draney
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Incredible stopped meaning “unbelievable” quite some time ago. Similarly, advertisers who claim fantastic savings or fabulous performance don’t expect anyone to think they mean the savings or performance are nonexistent and imaginary.

We can probably thank Neil Patrick Harris for having a similar effect on the word legen (wait for it!) dary.

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