Inflation, It’s now Effecting our Words Inflation is a word that is often referred to when talking about economies. When talking about the economy inflation is when there is too much currency so its value is lowered. The more rare something is the more it is worth. That is a very simple concept that can apply to so much more than economy. Inflation has infiltrated school, society, and even language. Ever since I was a little child, I have been showered with words like terrific, fantastic, and incredible, and I bet I am not the only kid who can say that.
Everyone is treated like the best because when we are kids and our being raised by are parents they see us as the best in the world no matter what we do. The people who raise us have this view of us that we are better than everyone else. This showering of compliments starts very early and continues into school. School is a place of extremities. Everything is a great success or a work in progress. Words like terrific or excellent have not become standardized but have become relative to everyone. What is “terrific” for one person could be someone else’s “horrible”.
The student is compared to him or herself instead of everyone in a school. Language is unique because of its flexibility, but this very same flexibility causes words to lose their meaning because they become over used. I know that this happens in school because I have seen it happen while I have gone through our education system. I was in a class where just turning in papers got you a one hundred percent and a comment saying great job. The distributions of these words have led everyone to think that they can do no wrong.
People think that no matter what they do they should get an award and a pat on the back. All these ideas come from society. Everyone always talk about where the bar is set for things. This is an ongoing metaphor used to show what people will accept as good. This “bar” is set by society as a whole and society is accepting less and less. This acceptance of less means the distribution of successful words like fantastic, which is the formula for inflation. Too much of a product means it’s worth less, and that is what is happening to our language.