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I think athletes and public figures ( politicians) often speak disingenuously in an effort to make themselves look good, and no word is used disingenuously more often than humbled. Because it’s a word that people, in general, hear and consider with positive connotations.
Athletes, politicians, actors, basically anyone who has fame and fortune, knows that people will dislike and resent them if they come across as arrogant or haughty.
The fact that you are here reading this means that you are bestowing dignity upon my words and this site and that you are elevating it to a level of importance by virtue of the fact that you are investing time into reading it.
Hmm…are you starting to see the contradiction here?
Use words that actually express what you actually mean, because it is a perfectly acceptable and relatable feeling.
But – and forgive me for being blunt here, because I am thisclose to exploding in petpeeved annoyance – how in the hell is that actually humbling.
You try to play as the MVP every night, and if that somehow results in you being named MVP you will feel as if your dignity or importance have been lowered? Actually, what you meant to say is that you would take great pride in being named MVP. I’d need a little more context on the conversation between Vick and Sal Pal to know how he meant this.
Sure, you might be humbled in the presence of those who won the MVP award before you (although, based on anecdotal evidence, this is probably not actually the case) but to say you would be humbled to win the MVP actually dimishes the importance of past MVPs, the importance of the trophy, and the importance of you. The reason I am trying to give Vick the benefit of the doubt is because we know that to get back to being an NFL superstar – which he certainly is again – Vick had to be humbled.
Note that this doesn’t mean I’m perfect and never misuse words, because I do; but I certainly make my best effort not to completely bastardize a word by using it in the context for which it is intended.
I suppose it is possible Matt Millen, Le Bron James, and Michael Vick do not know, literally, what it means to be humbled. But I think there is something more to it, a more reasonable explanation for the prevalent misuse of a term as easy to understand as humbled.