Yesterday, the Huffington Post homepage had an article about the "best surprise ever."
Now, forgetting for the moment that the Huffington Post headline writers use the word "ever" more often than a teenage girl says "rilly," and forgetting that the homepage that day also had big news stories about candid photos of strippers, Mariah Carey falling out of her dress, and Michael Bolton losing his virginity (and again, these were all on the homepage), I'm a sucker for "big surprise" videos. Furthermore, reading the accompanying story beforehand, it says to have the hankies ready when you see the son of a soldier in Iraq discover that his mom got leave from the Army to be at his pre-graduation party.
How big was what may be the "best surprise ever"? Again...The Best Surprise -- Ever.
Afterwards, on camera in the video, the kid says that he sort of thought his mom might do something like this, since she's been saying for four years that she'd be at his graduation. I mean, he says that. On camera. You can't miss it. And his weep-inducing reaction? He's sitting, turns in his chair, and gets a nice grin on his face.
Just last week, there was a video of an Army dad in catcher gear who's flown back from Iraq as his 10-year-old daughter threw out the first pitch to him, not knowing it was him, before a baseball game -- and when he takes off the gear and she recognizes who it is, he goes racing across the field and leaps into his arms. That video runs circles around this one. And it was only a week earlier. Such are the problems of short term memory loss.
This graduation moment is a nice little video, and I'm sure it was a deeply moving wonderful moment for the kid and his mother. But it was so woefully far from the best surprise ever that I'm not even embedding the video. Best surprise ever? It wasn't even the best surprise of the week. It wasn't even the best "soldier parent returning from Iraq for their child" surprise of the week.
Methinks the word "ever" is getting a tad overused. And for us lovers of "best evers," it's becoming a problematic epidemic akin to the Boy Who Cried Wolf, where you get sensory overload from all the "evers" and start to ignore them. It's like the worst linguistic abuse -- ever.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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