Not quite a GQ, but more of an observation with a rhetorical question thrown in for good measure.
Saturday afternoon, BBC America served as background noise while I was rebuilding my computer. One thing I noticed that got irritating after a while, though, was that it seems like the typical BBC America show resembles a Guinness commercial.
On older British television shows, the word “brilliant” is seldom heard. When I was listening on Saturday, it was uttered all the time. So, when did “brilliant” enter the top 10 list of most commonly used words among British English speakers?
You weren’t watching The Fast Show, by any chance? (cathphrase-laden sketch show). Actually renamed Brilliant! in the US, ISTR, that being one of the characters’ stock phrase.
Anyway, it’s been common enough since I can remember, which dates it to at least the 70s. Also, I reckon people are on average rather better-spoken in those old TV shows, whereas “brilliant” has always been informal. You wouldn’t expect to hear it during Prime Minister’s Questions.
I thought it supplanted triffic as the word of choice.
Og knows what will replace brilliant.
I don’t mind it, but then again, here near Chicago, my exposure to brilliant is somewhat limited. I am rather tired of “I’m down with that.” as said by middle aged white soccer moms… :rolleyes:
Heh. A couple of British girls asked me the way to Canal Street the other day in Greenwich Village, and when I pointed them to the right train and all they waved and gave a cheery “Brilliant! Thanks!” as they left.
I always think of Patsy from Ab Fab using it, but it seems to have spread. The first few times I heard it, I thought people were being sarcastic, but apparently they’re not.
as a Brit I can’t say i’ve noticed this at all But assuming it is as common as youd sugest then I agree with the various posters above who suggest that it is just a common word thats been around forever. its certainly not a fad word. we do swear too much however…
As opposed to Americans where the only superlative seems to be “cool”. Even that is creeping in over here. I recently saw a TV advert for a holiday camp where a boy says the swimming pool was “cool”. I would have thought it would have been better if the pool was warm!
“Awesome”, on the other hand, is not in our vocabulary. I’ve lost count of the numbers of things on boards like these which I watched Americans describe as ‘awesome’. Things that are mildly interesting, perhaps, but definitely not awe-inspiring.