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Marilyn Monroe
Time for iconoclasm

I'm tempted to send a mash note to George Stanley, the managing editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who, Jim Romenesko tells us, has circulated a memo to the staff saying that they have been overusing iconic and it's time to stop. Bless his heart. Iconic is like legendary, dramatic, prestigious, and the other empty adjectives that are no more than upholstery. It's not only the writers of features sections who go in for this, though they are prime repeat offenders, but any writer trying to puff up the importance of a story by telling rather than showing will be prone to resort to such words. Iconic at one time had a particular and useful sense. An icon, in the...

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