In recent years the word “horrific” has crept into our language and become very common. To me, the word is unacceptable, for two reasons. One, it sounds childish, like something a small child would say rather than an adult. Can you imagine Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy saying that something was “horrific?” Two, it reeks of liberal emotionalism and non-judgmentalism. It’s a way of saying that something is really, really bad, but we’re not going to place any judgment on it.
I disagree with you completely.Timothy A. writes:
I had assumed that “horrific” was a recently invented word—a combination of “horrible” and “terrific,” like “ginormous” (a combination of “gigantic” and “enormous”). It seems, though, that the word has a legitimate provenance, from the Latin “horrificus” via the French “horrifique,” and according to this online dictionary, “horrific” is a stronger version of “horrible.” http://www.diffen.com/difference/HorriblevsHorrificLA replies:
The whole world uses “horrific” when speaking of terrible crimes, terrible accidents, and so on. I can’t imagine what gives Timothy the notion that people are using it playfully. Therefore I assume that he himself is speaking playfully.June 12
Chris B. writes:
I believe the word “horrific” was first used by Winston Churchill in 1941, to describe the German Army’s brilliant and frightening charge through Yugoslavia, following an unexpected anti-Nazi the coup. A clever (at the time) conflation of the words “horrible” and “terrific.” Sean Hannity is perhaps the greatest abuser of this word among all talk hosts on either the right or left.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 11, 2012 03:50 PM | Send