‘Iconic’

Published in Issue 6 (November/December 2013), Letters, Volume 21

Sir,—It’s nearly five years since the word ‘iconic’ made it onto the List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness. No matter; it continues to proliferate, so that any mildly prominent item is now awarded ‘iconic’ status. I counted over twenty instances in my reading last weekend. To my dismay, five of these occurred in one article in History Ireland! As an iconic visual artist, I suppose it’s too much to expect Robert Ballagh (for it was he what [sic] wrote them) to be a literary stylist as well, but, dear editor, don’t hesitate to wield your red pen to uphold History Ireland’s iconic status. While I’m at it, I don’t like to see ‘impact’ used as a verb when ‘affect’ or ‘influence’ will do, and as for . . . [That’s enough!—Ed.]—Yours etc.,

SEÁN BOYLE
LONDON

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