Once upon a time1 I wrote a post2 titled “Instant Classic” in which I bemoaned the misuse of the term “classic” in the phrase “instant classic.” I wrote,
“Instant classic” is an oxymoron, right?… A just-released comedy can’t be a “classic”. The reviewer needs to go back to reviewer school.
This was an example of me, in the youth of my blogging, trying to sound clever and cynical, but also, genuinely believing that the term was being misused.
I write today in recognition that I was wrong.
In the years since, I have come to learn that the term “classic”, or “classical” means “of the highest class” as opposed to what I thought it meant–something that was old and revered. In this sense, an instant classic is something that a review deems at once of the highest class (of quality, presumably).
Long time readers have probably noticed fewer rants today like those from 2006. I like to chalk this up to the wisdom I’ve gained that I am far from a know-it-all. I’d further add that I’ve found on many occasions, this one not withstanding, I have been wrong in my judgments and observations. I expect this will continue until the day I die, but I am trying harder to recognize when I’ve bene wrong and call attention to it. Fair’s fair.
Inconsistently, perhaps, but I’ve been blogging for a while, too. 🙂
Instant classic means the work in question is so good it will instantly become a classic work.