Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exceptionally Extraordinary

That’s extraordinary.  Sounds like a compliment.  A superlative.  I really don’t get why.  It’s extra ordinary.  It’s not just ordinary.  It’s so ordinary, there’s more ordinary left over.  That’s the extra ordinary.  There needs to be a better word to describe something that is better than ordinary.  Superordinary doesn’t work because that just implies an amplification of the ordinary.  Something would be so ordinary it would be superordinary.  So that’s not it.  
How about “Exceptional?”  It is the exception.  That’s what makes it stand out.  That’s what makes it special.  There’s so much ordinary (one might say there's extra ordinary) that something that isn’t ordinary is the exception.  But if we are using the word exceptional to describe something as better than ordinary, then exceptional couldn't mean something is worse that ordinary.  And since exceptional means it's an exception to the norm, it therefore has to go both ways.  Kinda like my college roommate.  Awkward.  So, really, exceptional isn't the best word either.

"Outstanding?"  Maybe.  But then I think that falls into the same trap as exceptional.  Something could be outstanding but in a bad way.  Like this whole post.  I guess I should give up my quest for excellence.  ... wait a minute ...