When is iconic really iconic?

LANGUAGE items are often a matter of fashion and one particular word we cannot seem to shake off currently is ‘iconic’.

Everywhere you look, you cannot escape it. Richard Morris therefore describes the Red Arrows as the ‘iconic display team’ and the following week a letter-writer suggests that their replacement in Airbourne could well be the ‘iconic Vulcan bomber’.

In the April 6 Herald, the Eight Bells at Jevington is presented to us as an ‘iconic pub’.

When that thoroughly good egg, Cllr David Elkin, spoke at a recent Meads Community Association meeting, any replacement for the Wish Tower he told us – several times – would have to be an ‘iconic new building’.

Yet what does the word really signify? The Oxford English Dictionary suggests a somewhat nondescript definition.

But if it is the fashion we shall have to see it out to its exhaustion.

It’s a wonder that in a recent commemorative anniversary, and in an act of back-to-front alliteration, we were not hearing constantly about the iconic Titanic.


Collington Close.