The word nerd in me recently noticed that the word 'pretty' is hardly ever used anymore except as an adverb (pretty good, pretty stupid, pretty intense...).
And the word nerd found it sad.
As children -- specifically little girls -- 'pretty' is one of the most-used words in our vocabularies. Everything that is a) pink; b) has flowers and/or hearts on it; c) involves dress-up or make-up; or d) looks frilly or lacy is called 'pretty.'
'Pretty' is one of the highest compliments a little girl can receive and it's one of the highest compliments a little girl can pay anybody. It doesn't matter if you're fifty and 300 pounds overweight with whiskers or if you're twenty-two with 'perfect' skin and a seven-year string of beauty pageant championships, if a little girl calls you 'pretty,' you will treasure that forever. (And little girls, if my recollections of the experience are any indication, tend to think of almost all adult women as 'pretty.' Now that I think about it, when and why does that change?)
But somewhere in the teen years, 'pretty' is replaced by 'hot.' Sorry, I mean 'hawt.' Or 'sexy.'
Call me an innocent purist, but none of those have the same sweet ring to it as 'pretty' does.
Let's bring it back, shall we?