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(Slate)   Why DO we call everything "interesting"?   (slate.com) divider line 92
    More: Interesting, Sianne Ngai, Ngai, Edmund Burke, cultural development, Immanuel Kant, Sonic the Hedgehog, Lucille Ball  
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8048 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Dec 2012 at 10:46 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-02 08:17:31 AM
Money talks.
Talk is cheap.
Time = money.
 
Pud [TotalFark]
2012-12-02 08:22:28 AM
Interesting that you would ask subby,
 
2012-12-02 08:23:13 AM
It a sign of being polite yet condescending. Like when someone writes an article for Slate about bullshiat that's entirely too long to read, if the author asked my opinion of it, the reply would be "interesting".
 
2012-12-02 08:24:03 AM
On Fark, the tag is generally used to lend legitimacy to conspiracy laden political rants.
 
2012-12-02 08:33:52 AM
Because all of a sudden idioms become normal speech. How come? Ask your physician
 
2012-12-02 08:50:14 AM
Because "boobs" was already taken. Duh.
 
2012-12-02 08:50:30 AM
Oh do you now?

images.sodahead.com
 
2012-12-02 08:51:44 AM
That article is the opposite of interesting.
 
2012-12-02 09:07:00 AM
One of those opposites things.

"Oh, thats interesting" -- no it isnt.
 
2012-12-02 09:21:41 AM
Because there's no "Kick Ass!" tag.
 
2012-12-02 09:28:59 AM
Interesting is neutral in terms of agreeing or disagreeing. You think Obama is a zombie Kenyan warlord? That's interesting. Now I've acknowledged your statement, so you don't need to repeat it, but I haven't made any sort of ideological commitment to it.
 
2012-12-02 09:48:39 AM
"It will be interesting to see..." makes me cringe. Yeah? How do you know it isnt going to be boring as hell to see?
 
/sorry, pet peave
 
NFA [TotalFark]
2012-12-02 10:09:44 AM
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-12-02 10:27:32 AM
Maybe I really DO find people's love of Honey Boo Boo and her fat redneck clan interesting. You don't know.
 
2012-12-02 10:27:34 AM
Fascinating.
 
2012-12-02 10:47:59 AM
Not interested
 
2012-12-02 10:48:32 AM
May you live in interesting times.
 
2012-12-02 10:50:41 AM

dugitman: "It will be interesting to see..." makes me cringe. Yeah? How do you know it isnt going to be boring as hell to see?
 
/sorry, pet peavepeeve


/sorry, pet peeve...puppet
 
2012-12-02 10:53:04 AM
Cool.
 
2012-12-02 10:54:02 AM

Generation_D: One of those opposites things.

"Oh, thats interesting" -- no it isnt.


Or maybe it is, but you're just a boring puppet.

A puppet which apparently doesn't believe in apostrophes.
 
2012-12-02 10:58:05 AM
davidlasnier.com 

/Seriously.
 
2012-12-02 11:00:57 AM

I did find TFA interesting, and given the opportunity, would like to read the book.


To deem something "interesting" is to promise to return to it. It's a judgment that doesn't really say anything, beyond forestalling that judgment, like a (per Ngai) "sticky note" amid an endless wash of data. At its most thoughtful, calling something "interesting" might be an expression of indeterminacy, a placeholder for a future conversation. But more often than not, it's just conversational filler, something dropped in when you don't feel like judging at all.
 
2012-12-02 11:00:57 AM
c257.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com
 
2012-12-02 11:01:29 AM
Because we are too polite to tell you that your poetry and drawings are shiat.
 
2012-12-02 11:01:44 AM
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-12-02 11:02:52 AM
i.imgflash.com
 
2012-12-02 11:03:35 AM
One of my Linguistic Anthropology professors forbade the use of the word "interesting" in our assignments.

He said it's the word people use when they have nothing to say.
 
2012-12-02 11:04:16 AM
It is because most of you shiats are too stupid to understand there is a maximum level of intelligence that can be forced through a language but that level is so far beyond your comprehension that you say "interesting" when it is NOT interesting.

Look up the following words and use them.
Catchy
Cloying
Abrupt
Contrast
Ironic
 
2012-12-02 11:04:26 AM
1.bp.blogspot.com 
Monsters are such IN-teresting people!
 
2012-12-02 11:05:08 AM

thisiszombocom: [c257.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com image 620x348]


dang it
 
2012-12-02 11:05:16 AM

Mugato: It a sign of being polite yet condescending. Like when someone writes an article for Slate about bullshiat that's entirely too long to read, if the author asked my opinion of it, the reply would be "interesting".


My my how nice
 
2012-12-02 11:06:29 AM
i knew a very maladjusted, disturbed nitwit. one of the rare fellows you'll ever meet that has one hand permanently in contact with his package, even if he was talking to his mother. i doubt even he knew what was going on his mind most the time. his go-to response for way too many things was to utter "interesting".
 
2012-12-02 11:12:09 AM
Finds the article VEERRRRY....
nakedphilly.com ... well, you know...
 
2012-12-02 11:14:20 AM
i262.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-02 11:18:24 AM
At first I was kind of interested, then became more interested, VERY interested.

Then not interested.

thumbnails.hulu.com
 
2012-12-02 11:19:05 AM

prjindigo: It is because most of you shiats are too stupid to understand there is a maximum level of intelligence that can be forced through a language but that level is so far beyond your comprehension that you say "interesting" when it is NOT interesting.

 
 
i107.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-02 11:21:51 AM
She lost me before the second paragraph. Iht article was ultimately uninteresting. Also, the author and subject have too much time on their hands.
 
2012-12-02 11:26:12 AM

DaCaptain19: Generation_D: One of those opposites things.

"Oh, thats interesting" -- no it isnt.

Or maybe it is, but you're just a boring puppet.

A puppet which apparently doesn't believe in apostrophes.


You forgot to post your Bob The Angry Flower pic.
 
2012-12-02 11:29:10 AM
Its 'interesting' that Slate advertises gun safes. Those people are scared of the government THEY elected!
 
2012-12-02 11:29:24 AM
Obviously this will go down in history.
 
2012-12-02 11:35:10 AM
A bit embarrassing in that 'interesting' is basically my generic response to things. I don't say it sarcastically though, it's essentially my way of acknowledging you when I have nothing intelligent to add.
 
2012-12-02 11:36:31 AM
Yet another convoluted tome describing nothing more than some young person's inner exploration of their own psyche as they try to better understand themselves.

/what do you mean "WE", Kimosabee?
 
2012-12-02 11:37:25 AM
It's a back-handed compliment
 
2012-12-02 11:37:25 AM
Because it's nicer than saying "Well, that story was boring as fark and now I'm going to go to something more interesting, like scratch my junk and then rummage around in the communal doughnut box."
 
2012-12-02 11:39:13 AM
tldr;
 
2012-12-02 11:41:19 AM
www.stinky-dog.com
 
2012-12-02 11:42:17 AM
We use the word "interesting" because all of the truly descriptive and useful words have been deemed politically incorrect or socially insensitive. What you are witnessing is the initial phase of the collapse of the ability of human beings to communicate meaningfully. It is a very dangerous and frightening thing to anyone who has studied the history of human civilizations.
 
2012-12-02 11:43:45 AM

Balchinian: We use the word "interesting" because all of the truly descriptive and useful words have been deemed politically incorrect or socially insensitive. What you are witnessing is the initial phase of the collapse of the ability of human beings to communicate meaningfully. It is a very dangerous and frightening thing to anyone who has studied the history of human civilizations.


That's not at all interesting.
 
2012-12-02 11:43:45 AM
Interesting has always been code for SUCKS , at least to me.
 
GBB
2012-12-02 11:46:38 AM

ThatGuyGreg: Fascinating.

 
2012-12-02 11:47:42 AM
Why DO we call everything "interesting"?

That reminds me of an interesting story...

cdn.sobadsogood.net
 
NFA [TotalFark]
2012-12-02 11:50:08 AM

Raider_dad: Interesting has always been code for SUCKS , at least to me.


To me 'interesting' has always been the equivalent of the "Well bless your heart" statement made by southerners. Which is a polite way for old ladies to say fark you.
 
2012-12-02 11:51:27 AM
25.media.tumblr.com

I find this all Quite Interesting.
 
2012-12-02 11:56:06 AM
Is it possible things can pique your interest for the moment, without being worthy of future pursuit? "Interesting" may be a perfect descriptor of that which worthy of interest and not just a polite way of dismissing that which truly does not offer any interest at all.
 
2012-12-02 12:00:47 PM

reillan: May you live in interesting times.


May your momma live in interesting times.
 
2012-12-02 12:02:34 PM
I use "interesting" when you're full of shiat, lying, misinformed, or stupid and I don't feel like arguing with you about it.
 
2012-12-02 12:03:13 PM
bobbiblogger.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-12-02 12:05:22 PM
"Interesting" is another throw-away word as meaningless as "epic", "awkward", "random", "amazing". These are all favorites words of boring dullards of the illiterati
 
2012-12-02 12:10:13 PM

CreamFilling: Interesting is neutral in terms of agreeing or disagreeing. You think Obama is a zombie Kenyan warlord? That's interesting. Now I've acknowledged your statement, so you don't need to repeat it, but I haven't made any sort of ideological commitment to it.


However, it can be interesting that Obama is a zombie Kenyan warlord or it can be interesting that someone believes Obama is a zombie Kenyan warlord.
 
pla
2012-12-02 12:10:40 PM
Seconding (partially) Raider_dad here...

"Interesting" amounts to a conversational space filler when you have zero interest whatsoever in what the person speaking has to say, but you can't safetly tell him or her to shut up and leave you alone... The boss, the girlfriend, the grandparent, telling you that story about the one time they went camping and saw a *bear* shiatting in the *woods* and didn't see a rabbit or the pope anywhere and yes it made a sound...

"Interesting" means "I respect/fear you enough not to slap you for wasting my time, but really, please stop now".

If you need to relate what it means to its actual meaning, think of it as "wow, how interesting, you actually think I care about your kid sucking at peewee lacrosse!"
 
2012-12-02 12:10:54 PM
it's more polite than saying 'what the hell it's terrible who would even think that's a good idea.'

kind of like when somebody you hate tells you of their good fortune and you say 'that's nice' instead of 'fark off.'
 
2012-12-02 12:44:32 PM
I don't know about the rest of you people, but I use the the word "interesting" to express an actual, legitimate interest in the conversation or topic or observation. If I didn't have an interest, I wouldn't say anything at all, or just give a dismissive grunt or a "hmm" and not say anything more.

Seems like everyone else in this thread uses the word "interesting" to say literally the exact opposite of what they mean. How ironic. This is a common trend these days.
 
2012-12-02 12:50:07 PM

pla: Seconding (partially) Raider_dad here...

"Interesting" amounts to a conversational space filler when you have zero interest whatsoever in what the person speaking has to say, but you can't safetly tell him or her to shut up and leave you alone... The boss, the girlfriend, the grandparent, telling you that story about the one time they went camping and saw a *bear* shiatting in the *woods* and didn't see a rabbit or the pope anywhere and yes it made a sound...

"Interesting" means "I respect/fear you enough not to slap you for wasting my time, but really, please stop now".

If you need to relate what it means to its actual meaning, think of it as "wow, how interesting, you actually think I care about your kid sucking at peewee lacrosse!"


This entirely, for those wonderful times during the holidays when I haven't drunk enough to set the sparks flying during dinner with the in-laws.
 
2012-12-02 12:50:50 PM

Niveras: I don't know about the rest of you people, but I use the the word "interesting" to express an actual, legitimate interest in the conversation or topic or observation. If I didn't have an interest, I wouldn't say anything at all, or just give a dismissive grunt or a "hmm" and not say anything more.

Seems like everyone else in this thread uses the word "interesting" to say literally the exact opposite of what they mean. How ironic. This is a common trend these days.


Interesting, generally if I reply with "hmm" it means I actually do find subject interesting, but am holding back due to not being able to comment without being offensive or causing increasing aggression.
 
2012-12-02 12:59:26 PM
A Jewish girl from Boston that I used to know used "Interesting" to mean many different things.

For example:

He: I have a giant boil on me bum.

She: That's interesting. = OMG! I did so much not need to know that!

"Interesting" would seem to be a conversational place holder for when you don't have anything else to say or can't say what you would like or whatever.

"Or whatever" is another.

We are often expected to have an opinion, for example, on a piece of art that says absolutely nothing, so we say it is "interesting". It is less committal than saying "This painting looks like somebody accidentally sat on a palate and then wiped the painting off on a canvas when nobody was looking."

"Oh yes, I can see that the artist had a giant boil on his bum. Very interesting."
 
2012-12-02 01:06:50 PM
I didn't reading the whole thing but I am pretty sure that article was written by a pretentious random word generator.
 
2012-12-02 01:18:33 PM
"That's interesting."
cdn.conservativebyte.com
 
2012-12-02 01:41:32 PM

Wasilla Hillbilly: Niveras: I don't know about the rest of you people, but I use the the word "interesting" to express an actual, legitimate interest in the conversation or topic or observation. If I didn't have an interest, I wouldn't say anything at all, or just give a dismissive grunt or a "hmm" and not say anything more.

Seems like everyone else in this thread uses the word "interesting" to say literally the exact opposite of what they mean. How ironic. This is a common trend these days.

Interesting, generally if I reply with "hmm" it means I actually do find subject interesting, but am holding back due to not being able to comment without being offensive or causing increasing aggression.


We may use it in subtly different ways. A somewhat interrogative "hmm?" (noting specifically that rise at the end of the sound, consistent with how questions are phrased) would, in my estimation, express an interest rather than a dismissal. In my use expressing disinterest, the sound is consistent. Of course, other factors can also modify the intended meaning. When accompanied with a nod, I'm agreeing with a statement but am either thinking about what to say next, or just don't have anything else to say - even though, lacking that nod, the sound may be indistinguishable from a dismissal.
 
2012-12-02 01:41:39 PM

ThatGuyGreg: Fascinating.


Fascinum (NSFW, maybe)
 
2012-12-02 01:51:00 PM

thisiszombocom: [c257.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com image 620x348]


My favorite BB cartoon ever!
 
2012-12-02 02:00:09 PM

thisiszombocom: [c257.r57.cf3.rackcdn.com image 620x348]


Leaving satisfied....
 
2012-12-02 02:02:21 PM

Generation_D: One of those opposites things.

"Oh, thats interesting" -- no it isnt.



My mom does this incessently.  I love her, but my parents are kinda sheltered suburbanites.  And I live in the heart of a rather gritty, crazy city.  They came to visit.  Once.  Everything we showed them or took them too:
 
"Hmmm, that's... interesting."
 
2012-12-02 02:12:46 PM
Whaddya mean "we"? I don't do that.

I generally use the correct term to describe things. If I think something is interesting, I say so. If I don't, I usually say nothing (ie, ignore it). If somebody says something not particularly interesting, but they seem to require some sort of input, I usually say, "Oh really?"

It's a noncommittal way to acknowledge that someone has made a statement. They don't have to know that I don't find what they said particularly interesting or relevant.
 
2012-12-02 02:18:29 PM
I just checked:

"That's interesting" takes less time to type than: "That's food for thought"
 
2012-12-02 02:24:39 PM
At the University of Chicago, they have this weird major called "Fundamentals: Issues and Texts" where you basically major in answering One Really Big Philosophy Question. I had a friend who was writing his thesis on the question of "what is interest?". My first reaction was "well, that's an interesting question, but I'll bet you're a better judge of that, eh big guy?" Liberal arts, ladies and gentlemen!

(I didn't have the heart to tell him it meant compensation for the use or forbearance of money. Hopefully he learned that on his own.)
 
2012-12-02 02:40:14 PM
oi47.tinypic.com
 
2012-12-02 02:40:54 PM

dugitman: prjindigo: It is because most of you shiats are too stupid to understand there is a maximum level of intelligence that can be forced through a language but that level is so far beyond your comprehension that you say "interesting" when it is NOT interesting.
 
 
[i107.photobucket.com image 400x400]


*whistle*

Blatant misuse of meme. 15 yard penalty. Still 1st down.
 
2012-12-02 02:44:02 PM

special20: Balchinian: We use the word "interesting" because all of the truly descriptive and useful words have been deemed politically incorrect or socially insensitive. What you are witnessing is the initial phase of the collapse of the ability of human beings to communicate meaningfully. It is a very dangerous and frightening thing to anyone who has studied the history of human civilizations.

That's not at all interesting.


OK, well how about an illustration or two:

"He is an interesting young man." As compared with: "That waste of space is a sociopathic degenerate with the intellectual capacity of a 4 year old."
"She has made some interesting life choices." Versus: "That biatch is a slagged-out coke whore."

Which of the two statements in each of the above examples would you be most likely to hear from a high school principal? Which would you like to hear if you were suddenly charged with being responsible for the people in question? Which statement reflects the truth more fully and accurately?
 
2012-12-02 02:45:35 PM
hot4spock.files.wordpress.com

"Fascinating is a word I use for the unexpected. In this case, I should think 'interesting' would suffice."
 
2012-12-02 03:07:47 PM

prjindigo: It is because most of you shiats are too stupid to understand there is a maximum level of intelligence that can be forced through a language but that level is so far beyond your comprehension that you say "interesting" when it is NOT interesting.

Look up the following words and use them.
Catchy
Cloying
Abrupt
Contrast
Ironic


Next time I'm meeting people at a party and making talk, I'll be sure to interject "That's contrast, man!" instead.

/Those who intentionally modify their everyday speech to sound like a walking thesaurus actually just sound nerdy and smug.
//There can be a time and place for it, with the right people.
 
2012-12-02 03:13:18 PM

JonnyBGoode: [hot4spock.files.wordpress.com image 198x207]

"Fascinating is a word I use for the unexpected. In this case, I should think 'interesting' would suffice."


Took somebody long enough.
 
2012-12-02 03:32:13 PM
Same reason we call everything "nice"--it's a non-commital way of indicating approval.
 
2012-12-02 03:39:05 PM
Because we're very, very bored.
 
2012-12-02 04:51:33 PM

Balchinian: special20: Balchinian: We use the word "interesting" because all of the truly descriptive and useful words have been deemed politically incorrect or socially insensitive. What you are witnessing is the initial phase of the collapse of the ability of human beings to communicate meaningfully. It is a very dangerous and frightening thing to anyone who has studied the history of human civilizations.

That's not at all interesting.

OK, well how about an illustration or two:

"He is an interesting young man." As compared with: "That waste of space is a sociopathic degenerate with the intellectual capacity of a 4 year old."
"She has made some interesting life choices." Versus: "That biatch is a slagged-out coke whore."

Which of the two statements in each of the above examples would you be most likely to hear from a high school principal? Which would you like to hear if you were suddenly charged with being responsible for the people in question? Which statement reflects the truth more fully and accurately?


The fact that you try to illustrate something instead of getting the joke, is also not that interesting either. I'd rather call a person what they are in less negative tones, like saying that even the dullest of senses would find it an arduous journey should they choose to explore your thoughts.
 
2012-12-02 07:00:16 PM

Balchinian: We use the word "interesting" because all of the truly descriptive and useful words have been deemed politically incorrect or socially insensitive. What you are witnessing is the initial phase of the collapse of the ability of human beings to communicate meaningfully. It is a very dangerous and frightening thing to anyone who has studied the history of human civilizations.


The only instance when "collapse of the ability of human beings to communicate" was the main harbinger of civilization collapse is in the apocryphal Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. All known ancient civilizations in reality (those that did not simply disappear gradually) collapsed during times of environmental degradation and climatic fluctuation, overpopulation, disease, internal political structural collapse, foreign invasion or a combination of these factors. Also, I think "interesting" is a perfectly reasonable word when used properly.
 
2012-12-02 07:12:26 PM
i50.tinypic.com
 
2012-12-02 09:40:02 PM

Rusty Shackleford: [25.media.tumblr.com image 448x252]

I find this all Quite Interesting.


Genuinely, thanks for that. I'd missed that episode both on broadcast and iPlayer. Surprised the Beeb doesn't take it down from YouTube.

/Also I have a crush on Vicky Coren.
//Intelligence in a woman does it for me.
///Except she had to marry David Mitchell, didn't she.
////I enjoy his wit and comedy too.
 
2012-12-02 11:37:39 PM
carlosanastacio.com
You rang?
 
2012-12-03 12:23:05 AM
I'm tired of people using the word "car" to express their feelings about combustion powered quadracycles.
 
2012-12-03 02:08:40 AM

iron de havilland: /Also I have a crush on Vicky Coren.//Intelligence in a woman does it for me.///Except she had to marry David Mitchell, didn't she.////I enjoy his wit and comedy too.


Seconded.


What an interesting thread this turned out to be.
 
2012-12-03 09:56:35 AM

iron de havilland: Rusty Shackleford: [25.media.tumblr.com image 448x252]

I find this all Quite Interesting.

Genuinely, thanks for that. I'd missed that episode both on broadcast and iPlayer. Surprised the Beeb doesn't take it down from YouTube.

/Also I have a crush on Vicky Coren.
//Intelligence in a woman does it for me.
///Except she had to marry David Mitchell, didn't she.
////I enjoy his wit and comedy too.


Auntie does, quite regularly, pull content from YouTube. It's been quite a game, trying to follow HIGNFY, QI, etc from this side of the pond. Although just recently, I installed a little app that spoofs the Beeb into thinking I'm in the UK, so I can finally use iPlayer (they had promised it would be available in Canada a year ago. Liars).
 
2012-12-03 10:28:04 AM
When I was in Grad School (history) I had many discussion courses (we would have to read a book and then in class we would spend the entire classperiod... discussing the reading.)

Early on I had a professor tell me, "Whenever I ask someone what they thought about a topic or book and the first sentence is 'I thought it was interesting' there is an immediate, visceral gut check that goes on in my brain. I know without a doubt at the worst the person stating that thought did not read the material, and at the best they did not understand it. Either way it is evidence of a completely empty thought being vocalized."

Many of my classes started with one of the department darlings saying "I thought the book was interesting" and then following up with nothing. Never noticed it before my professor told me that though.

/interesting, no?
 
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