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If everything is interesting, then nothing is.
This is a common thought that I have in a workshop or seminar setting. Most often, this word is used in a way that divulges zero information about the poem or story in front of me. When I hear a colleague say, “This poem was really interesting to me,” all I hear is, “I read this poem and I have nothing to say about it.”
Before I continue, it is vital to explain the definition of the word, that to me, has lost all of its meaning due to the construct of the MFA program.
Merriam Webster says,
Interesting: adjective ; attracting attention and encouraging the participant’s involvement in learning more about something…the thing being modified is not dull, nor is it boring.
The word was first used, or known of its use around 1768.
Over the past year-and-a-half, I have collected words such as this from conversations in workshop and seminar that have lost actual meaning because of the vague over-usage of them.
To change this, I think it would be wise for writers working with writers to use other words, or hell, if you are going to say the word interesting, then at least back it up with why it is interesting…and then, when you do that, do muffle together 20 big words that skirt the point. Pinpoint something. Is it the voice? Is it the tone? Is it the diction? What the fuck makes it interesting.
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