This morning I complimented a female friend and colleague of mine at the office via email as having a ‘nice’ new haircut.
I felt dirty afterwards.
Not because I was being sleezy or hitting on her, but because ‘nice’ is such a nothing word.
What is ‘nice’? It’s generic, it’s lazy, it’s a description of something just passably better than not worth noticing and commenting on.
She replied ‘thanks’ – fair enough what the hell else was she going to say? You know what I should have done? I should have either said something more than ‘nice’ or nothing at all.
So I replied to her email and said:
‘Sorry, and by ‘nice’ I mean your hair looks great, it really suits you … I was momentarily too lazy to type something less generic than ‘nice’. Apologies, one should think of a better word to compliment someone with than ‘nice’.
‘Nice’ is so generic, it’s so bland, ‘nice’ sounds like it should only be attached to the most basic domestic products and others products trying to be something they’re not. ‘Nice’ should marry ‘Quality’ and skip hand in hand down ‘Bland Lane’ and have two point three generic children, who do OK in their schooling and go on to lead uneventful, average lives, with flairs of mediocre success, like coming 3rd in the regional retail sales competition of a 4th rate bathroom products supply company, a success they’ll cling to for the rest of their days.
And ‘nice’ and ‘quality’ are fairly close to nothing but condescending in product use too: “Use Generica brand quality shampoo and conditioner, it’ll leave your hair feeling nice!”
Have a great time on trip to Japan!’
Surely if something is truly ‘quality’ companies don’t need to say it? It should already be firmly established in the consumers mind why it’s quality, does simply saying it mean anything really? ‘Quality’ can be said another, better, way. And similarly, what is ‘nice’ to a consumer? Another word or series of words will almost certainly better describe what the company wants the consumer to feel or think.
‘Nice’ has been the ending to short term consumer experiences for decades, but it’s time for companies to think bigger and get more excited about their products.
‘Nice’ means nothing and saying ‘quality’ doth not a better product make.
Have a nice day.