Q;1 Since we now live in a world of super-things we might expect them to be made by a race of Supermen. Discuss.
We are living today in an age of super things. We have super-soaps, super-toothpastes, super-music, super-cloth; but we don’t have supermen, super-tailors, super-mechanics, and super-poets, etc. For the last some years the prefix super has been in such wide use that it has lost its utility. To enhance the importance of everything we want to use the word before it; even if it may be of sub-standard. We might expect that these super products have been made by a race of supermen, but this is not the case. No tailor wants to be called super-tailor for making super-trousers. No doctor calls himself a super-doctor for conducting a successful operation. These things are made by ordinary men, not by supermen. They may have a special skill in doing or making something but they can’t be called supermen.
The word “super” is, therefore, being used just to impress upon the people the superior quality of something. As paper-money is losing its value day by day, super things are also losing their importance. People are no longer impressed by super-cigarettes, super-chocolates because they are not superior to ordinary ones. The race of supermen in history was more proud of their personal qualities than their things. 202
- 2. Trace the origin of the word “Super”.
The prefix “super” is used before something to signify its superior quality. It was first of all used before the word “man” by Nietzche, a German philosopher. Then the English playwright George Bernard Shaw used the word “Superman” as the title of his play “Man and Superman”. After that, this word came to be used widely. Now it has almost become a fashion or a craze to use this word before each product. Now there are super-soaps, super-toothpastes, super-cigarettes, super-chocolates, super-coffee, and super-tea, etc. These things are not, in fact, superior in quality. They are as good or as bad as common products.
- 3. Can you point out some examples to illustrate how frequently the prefix “Super” is being used in our own country?
Publicity and advertisements are the order of the day. Our country can’t lag in this rat race. Every day new techniques and new methods of ads are being invented by industrialists. Millions of rupees are being lavishly spent on ads. There are ads on radio, TV, video cassettes, cinema screen, and neon-signs.
The prefix “Super” is being widely used nowadays to show the superior quality of some products. It is rather used to increase its sale because it is not of that super quality as it is propagated. On our radio and TV, several commercials are daily broadcast and telecast. Our newspapers and magazines are full of ads for different products. A drama of one-hour duration has almost twenty-minute-duration ad in it. We have super-toothpastes, super-soaps, super-cigarettes, super-garments, super-tonics, super-tea, and super-music, etc.
The word “Super” is used to befool the customers or consumers because often a super-soap or a super-toothpaste is of inferior quality. It is a sugar-coated pill of poison given to the consumers to entice them to buy the latest models of certain things and to discard the old things.
Its widespread use has outlived its utility.