Posts tagged ‘Nice’

Nice: A Kiss of Death

I was sitting in one of my classes today, absently doodling a really interesting paisley pattern on a letter to my friend Ria, as the people around me discussed death, dying, and all things happy in the world, when the professor brings up a quote from the book about the word “nice.”  See, the author was talking about his father’s death and how angry it made him when the doctor said something along the lines of, “He seemed like a really nice person.”  Now, my prof, she didnt really understand why our dear author was so unhappy, so I calmly piped up with these gems of wisdom: “Nice is what you call someone when you can’t think of anything else to say about them.  The ‘oh, he is so nice’ really means, ‘oh, yeah I have no idea what else to say about him that is good.'”  I then ended my rousing speech with an loudly exclaimed, “Nice is really the kiss of death for everyone.”

Super Awesome Doodles

I am a doodle master. Admire.

Apparently, the very nice ginger across from me took exception to this comment, as he exclaimed, “I really don’t agree.” Laughter ensued, and my lovely, nice, kooky professor joked that the reason I dislike “nice” is because I have never been called it.

But that’s not true.  Strangers call me nice all the time. I just really hate the word. It’s too…well…it’s too nice!

Have you ever read a romance where by the end of the book, all the you know about the hero (or heroine) is that they are nice? NO! You never hear an author describe a character that singularly.  They are either caring, nice, and passionate. Intense, nice, and passionate.  Fiery, determined, and passionate.  Passionate, possessive, and caring. Passionate, passionate, and passionate.  But never will you see a character who is simply nice, nice, and nice.  Why? Because dearest, nice is boring all by itself.

nice |nīs|adjective1: pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory : we had a nice time | that wasn’t verynice of him | Jeremy had been very nice to her.• (of a person) pleasant in manner; good-natured; kind : he’s a really nice guy.

Sure the definition sounds nice, but really would you only want to be known as “pleasant in manner” and nothing more? Nice is a superficial term. That’s all. We’ve all heard the phrase: “Nice guys finish last.” And the reason for that is if you are nothing more than a nice guy–you need a personality transplant.  Be exciting.  Be funny.  Be sweet, caring, and NICE.

I think in order to give life back into the kiss of death term we call “nice,” we should return to some of it’s now obsolete and fiery meanings. OED gives these scandalous defintions for the nice nice:

a. Of a person: foolish, silly, simple; ignorant. Obs.

b. Of an action, utterance, etc.: displaying foolishness or silliness; absurd, senseless. Obs.

a. Of conduct, behaviour, etc.: characterized by or encouraging wantonness or lasciviousness. Obs.

b. Of a person: wanton, dissolute, lascivious. Obs.

What A Nice Young Lady!

Why don’t we go with any of these obsolete definitions? They certainly make nice way more interesting.  “Yes, I remember him! He was such a nice young man.”–Right now that phrase translates as, “Yeah, I barely remember him.  He seems like he could have possibly been pleasant, but I really don’t recall too much about him!”  Instead, let’s replace that blah translation with some ancient pizzazz! So that it could either mean he was a foolish dude or a sex-addict.  I don’t know about you dearest, but I would rather be called wanton than boring.

Call me crazy, but for some reason I don’t think historical romance author Meredith Duran will!  She has some interesting things to say on the “nice” insult in a blog for RT BOOKREVIEWS (Click here to read the whole thing).  Her book,  Wicked Becomes You takes a plain-old nice young lady and spices things up.  Something I personally think we should do in the everyday!  So check out Wicked Becomes You and tell me what you think.  Are you a nice person? Or would you rather be something a little more wicked?


March 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm Leave a comment

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