The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #172874   Message #4199838
Posted By: Thompson
27-Mar-24 - 04:53 AM
Thread Name: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
Has anyone brought up* the overuse of the term "key"? I can see why newspapers use it instead of "vital" in headlines (shortage-of-ink error), but I find use of it in speech to be unforgivably jarring, especially when overuse makes it a stand-in for "important", "noteworthy" or "interesting". There's so many "key" issues these days that there's no room in the door for anything else but locks.

"Key" is the 2024 equivalent of the 1960s "top" - everyone was a top scientist, a top politician, etc - until some comedian brought out a book called How to be Top, when it gradually faded away.

Words as analogies have these fashions. A few years ago "relish" was the trend, and it really annoyed me.