Sachi R

Obiter dicta on music, men and matters

This word ‘great’

Posted by rsachi on October 5, 2009

I just counted 17 occurences of “great” in my blog already. In fact, in one place I say “great great”.
What is this thing I have for this word “great”?
Some quick research says that in old English, great meant large, rough and uncouth. It is related to the German word gross ( in fact they place a ß to replace a double “s” and call it an Eszett.Of course we know what gross means in English.)
I use this word because I am somewhat excited to describe what I am saying at that moment and can’t find a simpler way to describe how wonderful, magnificient, incomparable, unprecedented, outstanding, remarkable, memorable, impactful, indescribable, excellent, superb, fabulous, out-of-the-ordinary, unforgettable, surprisingly good, prompting-an-exclamation, drawing-a-wow, inciting-an-applause, instigating-a-Bravo! the thing or feeling or person I am alluding to, is.
I took this picture of the Great Barrier Reef when I flew recently from Tokyo to Sydney. The pilot obligingly told us to look out on the left side. My ever-obliging iPhone was at hand in flight mode.
The Great Barrier Reef.  Here I quote from Wikipedia ( the guy who named it was sure as excited as I am sometimes)

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi).The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia.The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. The Great Barrier Reef supports a wide diversity of life, and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN has labelled it one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and utilised by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is an important part of local groups’ cultures and spirituality.


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