May 18, 2024

Nothing quite destroys the essential truthiness of a word like it’s nonsensical repetition. So in order to save these poor words for future generations, I’m starting a new occasional post here called The Cull, which calls for their temporary suspension due to excessive overuse, exaggeration, and/or just plain egregious misuse. (Travel and lifestyle reps take note: I actually do read what you write from time to time.)

2012’s word-most-in-need-of-saving: beloved. As in “This new family musical is based on the beloved New York Times best selling book.” Or “The hotel’s beloved holiday tradition of tea in front of the fire returns for yet another season of smiles.” Or “You’ll be inspired by the wit and wisdom of beloved author and TV spokesperson.” It’s a Wonderful Life is beloved; your elderly Aunt Meemaw is beloved; Toni Morrison’s Beloved is beloved. A hotel is not. Nor is a celebrity stylist. (Or any book written in this century for that matter.)

Beloved, no more. Until we meet again.

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