I’m no semantic prude: I actually have a fondness for new constructions, new etymologies. Word purists are square, man. But sometimes language can go so wrong. And lately I’ve been obsessing on the need to put an end to the use, any use, of the monstrosity “ginormous.” I’m hating on that word.
It started so harmless; a word to describe, well, burritos and things. Things in need of a bastardized version of the language, befitting their street-food/drunk-food idiom. Im OK with that. But all of a sudden, this frat-boy street slang has slipped into the “real” vernacular, the language. God help us, OED. So make this your new year’s resolution: this is not a word you should ever deploy. If anyone uses it, though, be nice. They are not to blame. After all, the Tribune thinks it’s the raw material of art reviews. Hell, I want a ginormous burrito right now. But I can’t help thinking of those penis-enhancement ads. Is it really bigger than “gigantic?” “Enormous” is just too small? Really? Two thousand years of largeness are not enough? Or is maybe your largeness not so large? Maybe you should use, or make up a new word to cover, well, the somewhat smallness of what you have to offer?
I understand, trust me. It’s the sign of a decade just vacated. We need big big words, bigger words than ever before, to describe, well nothing. A decade of nothing. Of nothing, but a decade older. It was a ginormous decade.
Now do not use that word, ever again.