One of the positive things of getting older is that you are an eye and ear witness of history being created.
Especially the development of language is an interesting phenomenon. My experience is that most language innovation comes from the young. That may be the case because you want to distinguish yourself from the elder especially in your teens.
In the last ten years I see and hear two peculiar developments and I don’t know how to position them.
One is the increasing manly-like way of talking by girls. It’s origins are in the US. A deep, croaky, a bit raspy voice. No idea who is the original role model. But I rather want to get into the second development.
That has to to with the wording to define levels of something being good or acceptable. 'In my time’ we invented new words to avoid old speak. Words like cool, wow or dope. Of course that kind of lingo development is ongoing, but what I’m hearing is a speeding up of the level of describing something that is (very) good. Nowadays it is not enough to say things are okay. It started that things had to be awesome. But that is already an inflationary word. Awesome is not enough to describe what’s okay.
Things have to be super! What will be next? Ultra?
Maybe this language inflation is influenced by the commercialisation of our society. In order to sell a new version of a product, the manufacturer has to say it’s product is better than the previous version one. But as the previous version was already ‘the best’, one has to find new words to lure consumers. And there we go...
So we even start describing our lives, our experiences in commercial superlatives. Is this a hype or trend?
So, my CSPE question is: (why) is it really necessary to describe our lives in increasing superlative terms?