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Cross about over use of the word heroic

(116 Posts)
nannym Tue 13-Sep-11 11:04:25

Does anyone else agree that the media seem to be going overboard with their use of the term 'Heroic'? Each day in the newspapers there seem to be remarks about "Sporting Heroes" and I find it really hard to equate the meaning of the word hero to the actions of someone who is either kicking, hitting or catching a ball. A dictionary meaning of hero is "One who performs a valiant act" - can't really relate that to a footballer!

harrigran Tue 13-Sep-11 11:05:46

Totally overboard. Should not be applied to sport.

lucid Tue 13-Sep-11 11:19:49

Yes I totally agree, the same goes for the term 'tragedy', very overused and in danger of being devalued.

roroism Tue 13-Sep-11 11:38:42

The media love to just cause unnecessary hysteria! They use both terms way too lightly to make the articles sound exciting.

Elegran Tue 13-Sep-11 11:38:48

In ancient Greece a hero who someone who had superhuman abilities but was not immortal. They had one human parent and one who was one of the gods or goddesses.

So all our children must be heroes, as all of us on Gransnet are obviously goddesses (and gods)

Baggy Tue 13-Sep-11 11:50:33

What do people feel about its use to describe people who raise money for charity? Is that heroic, or a publicity stunt to raise awareness of a good cause?

absentgrana Tue 13-Sep-11 12:01:58

I think people can be heroic in many ways, not just military ones, but those too – from peacefully opposing the repressive regime in Burma and enduring prison without becoming embittered or revengeful to disabled servicemen walking to the North Pole to raise money for injured comrades. And yes, David Walliam's courageous, if crazy swim in the Thames sewer.

grannyactivist Tue 13-Sep-11 12:20:05

he·ro   [heer-oh] Show IPA
noun, plural -roes; for 5 also -ros.
a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.

maxgran Tue 13-Sep-11 12:27:08

There are lots of words and phrases people use which are just going overboard.
My grandchildren say they are 'starving' when they feel hungry
I often hear 'exhausted' used by people who are tired,..and something mildly unpleasant being described as 'disgusting'
Also 'devastated' when disappointed.

I think words can be powerful and used more carefully !

absentgrana Tue 13-Sep-11 12:56:59

However, this also happens the other way round. People use decimated – meaning destroying one out of every ten – to describe something that has been nearly or completely wiped out.

Of course, sometimes people also ascribe a meaning to a word that it does not have. Argument and criticism are called coruscating which, if they are particularly witty, they may be. But it is not sparkling or glittering that it usually meant but corrosive and bitter.

In other words maxgran I agree with you.

JessM Tue 13-Sep-11 13:45:51

What they mean of course is Brave (when they use heroic) but it doesn't really have a ring to it does it. Courageous too long for a headline.

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 13:50:19

Baggy, I think it depends on what the so called "publicity stunt" actually is.

I think if it involves courage, strength of character, and endurance of physical pain and fatigue, then it can be fairly called heroic.

There are easier ways to gain publicity than swimming the whole length of the Thames. And please don't say you weren't referring to that, because it is obvious you were.


Baggy Tue 13-Sep-11 13:51:12

I think it was very kind of Mr Walliams to swim all that way in mucky water in order to raise funds for charity.

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 13:55:34

So nice of you to say so. grin grin grin

And so quickly! grin

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 13:56:02

I hope he reads it. smile

nannym Tue 13-Sep-11 13:59:21

And of course it has done his profile no harm at all! grin

Baggy Tue 13-Sep-11 13:59:36

Ah well, only to be expected from a nice old dear like me. wink

absentgrana Tue 13-Sep-11 16:03:47

jangly in your besottedness, you are losing perspective. No one is trying to put down your hero – I think we all acknowledge his courage, resolution and endurance, not to mention his phenomenal charitable achievement.

Baggy Tue 13-Sep-11 16:28:52

Lots of people I know (yes, lots) have done things that "involve courage, strength of character, and endurance of physical pain and fatigue" and they are not regarded as heroes.

It is not obligatory to hero-worship famous/public figures and it somewhat irritates me that some people seem to think it is.

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 16:47:53

absentgrana, I think you know how silly that remark was.

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 16:48:26

Baggy, please yourself.

absentgrana Tue 13-Sep-11 16:49:36

Baggy Don't we all have our own unsung heroes, the people we know who have quietly gone ahead doing all kinds of splendid things in spite of or often because of pain and suffering in their own lives? People can be and are heroes without medals, appearing on television or being written about in the newspapers. Of course, going to back to the original posting, there can be lots of fuss in the media about someone who is no more heroic than my left foot, but that's just a lot of hype and nonsense that quickly becomes yesterday's news. Those who genuinely do something special, courageous, valuable and hard will be valued and remembered by those they have helped and those who know them. Hero doesn't have to be public acclaim.

absentgrana Tue 13-Sep-11 16:52:00

Which remark jangly?

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 16:52:48

Think about it.

jangly Tue 13-Sep-11 16:53:26

The one addressed to jangly perhaps?!! hmm