as of late, i've heard a particular word being used in a wider context than ever before. hooray for artistic freedom and bending grammatical and lexical rules for creativity's sake, but boo for creating a bandwagon that removes all meaning from a word because it simply becomes trendy to use it.
- jeff goodall's incredible and disturbing article about the gulf oil spill in the latest issue of rolling stone. from the poisoning: "...BP has favored the use of chemical dispersants in the Gulf: Skimmers are slow, dull and prone to breakdown. Dispersants, on the other hand, are fast, sexy and usually delivered by specially equipped planes..." i will refrain from making a lubrication joke. the whole article is here: the poisoning
- a ny times article on advanced degrees in statistics quotes google's chief economist hal vairan as saying, "I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians and I’m not kidding.” lucrative? yes. rapidly developing field? indeed. sexy? umm...
- there's a nonprofit organization called sustainability is sexy. sexy people can have sustainable lifestyles. but can sexy people put their sexy corn husks into sexy compost heaps to create stinky, nutrient rich, sexy soil?
- an alternative energy news source declaring that "...sooner or later all automobiles are going to be either hybrid, electric, or hydrogen-powered. The one drawback...is the overall appeal of the cars. Very few models that are being put out are really all that attractive...That is about to change in a big way. BMW has recently hit the board with their prototype that is just flat out sexy." sexy like you want to have sex with the car or sexy like it reminds you of someone you want to have sex with? or both?
what is sexy anyway? sexy lingerie? strike a sexy pose? sexy sadie? obviously the most common definition has to do with exuding sex appeal, being risque, or arousing. much to my dismay, however, the dictionary lists the final definition as "excitingly appealing; glamorous," making all of the cases in point above technically (albeit still questionably) correct.
the (over)use of sexy may be closely linked to the "(non-sexual topic) porn" phenomenon. basically it extends the use of porn to describe tantalizing pictures of things that are not intended to be sexual.
examples include (and these are definitely safe for work, though i don't advise trying to search for different kinds of non-porn porn online):
awful used to mean what it sounds like, "full of awe." the daily kos provides some theories behind how and why words change meanings over time along with a thorough list of changed words. sexy is being transformed right now, but will it lose some of its inherent allure as more and more nonsexual things are labeled as such?