Extraordinary: This Duplicitous Word Isn’t Extra Ordinary

Extraordinary space
Well now isn’t that extra ordinary? I can think of far more outlandish things.

Of late, we’ve made the habit of not writing “extraordinary” as we’ve got an issue with the word. We’re not claustrophobic or anything, but if we want to describe something as really amazing we don’t want to have to describe it as extra ordinary.

Surely, if something is extra ordinary it’s pretty rubbish… right? You wouldn’t describe the staggering immensity of the cosmos as “extra ordinary” would you? As ordinary as, say, walking down the road. So what gives? Luckily, we’re here to wax lyrical on the matter like the patronising and pretentious imbeciles we well and truly are.


First off, let’s have a look at situations which one (due to the specification of polite, organised society) would deem ordinary. We’ve taken these issues from day to day occurrences you may well face (under the belief you’re still alive and/or not a extraterrestrial – if you are the latter, thanks for reading!):

  • Saying “Good morning!” to one’s colleagues
  • Brushing one’s teeth
  • Sleeping
  • Picking one’s nose
  • Enjoying eating a boiled egg

These are occurrences most of us do all the time, if not at least several times a year. Conversely, here are a few abnormal activities few of us partake in. The following issues are day-to-day issues… with a sadistic twist:

  • Shouting “FACK OFF!” at one’s colleagues
  • Brushing one’s teeth with a toothbrush made from wet dog fur
  • Sleeping in a dustbin with a great white shark
  • Picking one’s nose with a flamethrower
  • Enjoying eating a boiled egg with Joseph Stalin

Indeed, these circumstances are not at all ordinary. They’re quite transmundane and bizarre, in fact. One would, potentially, describe them as extraordinary situations! This is where the confusion kicks in – if they’re remarkable how can they be extra ordinary?

Paradoxical Words

It’s a paradox – the word is deceitful in its meaning. Why? Probably as it’s an old word; it was invented during a time when the world was incredibly boring. During antiquity, ordinary things such as walking three miles in a straight line must have been extra ordinary. These days, it will be trivial waste of time and pointless exercise, or course, but now back then it was enough to warrant the formation of the word we all know and hate: extraordinary.

Of course, in the past people had to deal with issues such as being invaded by marauding foreigners – i.e. the Vikings. We presume there was a better word than extraordinary to describe this event back then, although profanity and screams of anguish probably sufficed.

Nowadays we believe the word extraordinary should fall out of use. It’s an insult to humanity as it has a meaning which isn’t correct. Far better words to describe something extraordinary would be as follows: “remarkable”, “outstanding”, and “wow”. Failing this, hearty expletive should get the point across. Simply stand up, look in awe in the correct direction, and announce “Bugger me!” in a posh British accent. It’s the future.


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