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Differentiating between iconic and idiosyncratic


My wish for 2003 would be to see more discrimination in the use of the word 'iconic' in magazines like the AJ. It has become overworked and debased of late, usually being applied to buildings that are merely idiosyncratic or self-important, rather than to those that are a 'representative symbol of something' (New Oxford Dictionary definition). A medieval cathedral symbolises the power of the church - but what do the socalled iconic proposals for Liverpool Waterfront symbolise, I wonder?

Les Sparks via email

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