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elbanditoroso's avatar

Is the word "blessed" being overused to be the point of triteness?

Asked by elbanditoroso (13692 points ) January 1st, 2013

Just in the last hour, I have heard the word “blessed” used in sentences where (my opinion) other words would have been more appropriate.

CSPAN: panel talk about Tip O’Neill: the moderator said he was “blessed” to have had such a smart and interesting panel conversation

E-TV: Kane West said that he and the slut are “blessed” to be having a baby.

Every day, people tell me “Have a blessed day”. They used to say “have a good day” or “be cool” or whatever.

I object for two reasons: one theological and one language based.

1) Theological: using the word “blessed” implies that there is someone or something doing the blessing, and (worse yet) that entity could choose not to bless me but has in some way decided to do so. The problem is that I don’t believe in god, and if there is a god, what right does it have to decide if I am blessed or not? I reject that there is any ethereal authority over me or my daily actions.

So “blessing” me is offensive to me.

Second: linguistic: by overusing the term “blessed” it is devaluing that it means. It becomes a trite, overused phrase. It loses any patina of specialty by its being repeated so often.

Have a nice day.

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37 Answers

Kropotkin's avatar

Bless you for the question.

snowberry's avatar

If “blessed” is so bad, so is “have a nice day”. Get over it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@snowberry – you don’t get sarcasm, do you?

Shippy's avatar

Perhaps see it as a cultural thing? People all want world peace, and this starts with respecting not necessarily agreeing with culture or tradition. But seeing it as an offering of good will?

It could be worse.

For example, The warriors tribes of Ethiopia used to hang the testicles of those they killed in battle on the ends of their spears, this made them heroes in their own culture. Imagine if your own testicles were amongst them?

Or what if you were forced to sit down and in early England, a traditional Christmas dinner included the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

Or how about this greeting to you as a friend, In Tibet, it is considered polite to stick out your tongue at your guests.

If you came to my country and attended a well to do wedding you would be required to cut the throat of a cow and help chop him up for the wedding feast? How would you fair there?

When greeting the King of the Zulu’s also, it is customary to stare at your feet, not his face.

So I think considering a kindly bless you is all you have to suffice you are not too badly off?

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@Shippy Some of those are not too bad, but I draw the line at having my knackers on a spear.

janbb's avatar

I agree with you. @elbanditoroso. It becomes tiresome; the tritism of the day with a side of Christianity.

snowberry's avatar

Oh, I get sarcasm, but I also get a lot of crap from people who cannot understand the sincere sentiment behind an overused comment. It’s their problem, not mine. My answer stands.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Yes. I am particularly annoyed when people say bless you when they mean thank you…

rojo's avatar

@snowberry Um, so is “Get over it”

snowberry's avatar

Yup. You got it!

gailcalled's avatar

“Blessed” is freighted to be more annoying when overused because of the sometimes-unwelome religious connotation, but any overuse will grate…see
“suck,” and “awesome” as other examples.

marinelife's avatar

Not by me.

rojo's avatar

Like, what blessed answers to a blessed question! We are blessed to have Fluther and the combined blessed wisdom of the blessed collective! I mean, awesome responses!

You know, looking at it, blessed is one of those words that just looks wrong in print.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, it is annoying, not sure I can say it is overused. I think most people who use it are religious and believe in God’s blessings, especially the people who use it regularly. When I moved to the south all of a sudden I was around people who would say, “have a blessed day” at the end of a conversation; or, “it’s a blessing,” when something fortunate would happen; and, “I feel blessed,” when they spoke of their happy life. It was offputting to be honest, uncomfortable. it seems in the last 5 years I have noticed it being used more and more in the media.

Southern and black singers thank God when they accoet their awards, was it always like that? Or, did I just start tuning into those award shows more? Or, are more black people getting awards now maybe? Anyway, now I even here news reporters use religious language? I find that quite odd. It has to do with the religious war in America that gets louder and louder I think. Christians afraid their rights are being taken away and that people want to squash God and Christianity, so they are becoming more vocal. Liberals sometimes use the language to show they too are theists and many of whom are Christians.

It’s not that I think the Christians in the south use the expressions I mentioned above to push Christianity to the forefront. For them it is just a normal part of their vernacular.

I don’t think saying blessed a lot is watering the term down for those who truly believe in God’s blessings, but interesting when you hear it constantly it can suddenly come out of your mouth when you never would have used to before. My husband said he felt blessed the other day, and I looked at him. He never would have used that term without having lived in the bible belt. I do think he meant it as feeling lucky and grateful. He does believ in God, but he is not one to thank God or pray to God. He is just appreciative and does not take things for granted.

Anyway, I mostly think the word is used among certain cultural groups and they are on TV more now.

ucme's avatar

The terrible misuse of the word genius irritates me, only for a brief moment though

JLeslie's avatar

@ucme What is the proper use vs the misuse?

ucme's avatar

You must know what I mean @JLeslie, someone is proclaimed a genius for, let’s say, playing a childish prank on their mates. A wildly inaccurate choice of words if ever there was one.

JLeslie's avatar

@ucme I am not sure what you mean. I think a bunch of people where I live use blessed constantly and the mean it. They are preoccupied with thoughts of Jesus and God and beieve thinking, speaking and overall acknowledging Him as much as possible is not a misuse. So I wondered if you were referring to those people who to many of us overuse the terms, but to them they are following some sort of commandment.

ucme's avatar

@JLeslie I’m simply saying that the overuse of the word genius in the most inappropriate circumstances is on a par with what the OP suggests, at least for me it is.

janbb's avatar

ucme That comment was sheer genius!

ucme's avatar

@janbb A backhanded compliment…nice!!

JLeslie's avatar

@ucme I see. I guess my point is if you point out to someone that the idea really is not genius or the person is technically not a genius, there is a good chance people would easily acknowledge genius is being thrown around, and not technically correct. But, a whole lot of people using blessed think they are technically correct. It is God. It is his blessings. Everything is God’s blessings. God is in everything.

ucme's avatar

My head hurts, stop the world I wanna get off ;¬}

JLeslie's avatar

Mine too.

jonsblond's avatar

The word slut is also overused and a bit annoying to read. just sayin’

livelaughlove21's avatar

I just read this on a sports news site:

“God bless the Clemson Tigers. Great game! It is good to see good faith go rewarded.”

Yeah, because God gives a shit about college football.

ucme's avatar

I like the stuff sports guys, mostly americans, say in post match interviews…“first i’d like to thank god for helping us win the game!”
So the other team are all cocksucking atheists then?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Sure, just like the word slut. Which, apparently, you still don’t mind using. So, to each their own triteness, I guess.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – actually, I supported the Slut Walk last year – the term is a good one when used in the right context.

But if you choose the be offended, that’s your issue, not mine.

Shippy's avatar

I’m fussy who I bless actually.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@elbanditoroso Oh, you did? Well that makes it all right.~ Obviously, this wasn’t the ‘right context’, considering how I don’t know you very well and all I’ve got to go on are your details. Also, I’m not offended. I don’t even give a shit if you call me a slut. The world is meaningless, definition-less. People are ridiculous to use it, unless they’re reclaiming it and even that is that because they must.

wundayatta's avatar

Not a word I use very often. It’s got a lot of religious connotations, unless you are saying “bless you” after someone sneezes. That’s pretty secular.

JLeslie's avatar

@ucme That reminds me of how much I hate when someone says the people who survived the plane crash, bombing, accident, pick one was spared because he was special, or God has a plan for that person. What? The other people who died God did not think they were worth saving?

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie I also hate that saying, God won’t give you more than you can handle. It’s bullshit really on so many levels.

ucme's avatar

@JLeslie Yeah, it’s as if they truly believe themselves to be their god’s special favourites…delusional.

JLeslie's avatar

@Shippy That one too, yes, I have a big problem with it.

Pachy's avatar

Yes, but not quite as much as “awesome.”

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