Brilliant!

Shine bright like a diamond,

– Rihanna, 2012.

How do you feel about the adjective brilliant? It seems to be a bit divisive. Like the word awesome, there are those who feel that it’s cheapened by being used as a general adjective of quality, to indicate that something is very good.

I understand that point of view, and I’ve argued previously that sometimes a strong adjective is just too strong for the situation, and a nice simple adjective often works well. That being said, the sheer positivity of words like awesome and brilliant can be infectious.

And while brilliant is now firmly established as a synonym for great, this is actually a fairly recent development.

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