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  1. #1
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    Question V to kill as a positive connotation?

    I heard today someone commenting positively (no irony involved) on someone's singing performance using the sentence "Yeah! Great job, you killed it! [the song]"

    Last time I checked, to kill means to put an end to, to destroy. The only occasion where kill has positive connotations is in phrases like "This comedian is killing me!" or "This show is a killer!"

    Or is it?? Is this a new way to use this verb??

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: V to kill as a positive connotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    I heard today someone commenting positively (no irony involved) on someone's singing performance using the sentence "Yeah! Great job, you killed it! [the song]"

    Last time I checked, to kill means to put an end to, to destroy. The only occasion where kill has positive connotations is in phrases like "This comedian is killing me!" or "This show is a killer!"

    Or is it?? Is this a new way to use this verb??
    This is not unusual (at least in USA) in the performing arts. This use of "kill" is a direct outgrowth of "you killed the audience" (overwhelmed them with a performance"). Now, one can also kill a song or a comedy routine.

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    Default Re: V to kill as a positive connotation?

    In a similar vein, it was common show business usage (particularly during the Vaudevillian era) to say "you really slayed them!" ("them" being the audience)


    "Kill" is also used as a positive term in computer lingo as well, such as "killer apps (applications)" meaning a software package that is so cool you want to buy a computer just to run it.

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    Default Re: V to kill as a positive connotation?

    Thanks for the info. Something new every day...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: V to kill as a positive connotation?

    To 'murder' a song on the other hand...

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: V to kill as a positive connotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    I heard today someone commenting positively (no irony involved) on someone's singing performance using the sentence "Yeah! Great job, you killed it! [the song]"

    Last time I checked, to kill means to put an end to, to destroy. The only occasion where kill has positive connotations is in phrases like "This comedian is killing me!" or "This show is a killer!"

    Or is it?? Is this a new way to use this verb??
    'Could kill' has been around for ages with positive connotations as well: I could kill an ice-cold beer.

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    Default Re: V to kill as a positive connotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    'Could kill' has been around for ages with positive connotations as well: I could kill an ice-cold beer.


    :::::thud:::::: A Brit drinking cold beer?!

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    Default Re: V to kill as a positive connotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    'Could kill' has been around for ages with positive connotations as well: I could kill an ice-cold beer.
    A good point, but wouldn't it have the sense of "putting it out of its misery" ? My point being, there is a sense of "consumption", of "termination" in that. While for a song...

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: V to kill as a positive connotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    :::::thud:::::: A Brit drinking cold beer?!
    I hate warm beer.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: V to kill as a positive connotation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    A good point, but wouldn't it have the sense of "putting it out of its misery" ? My point being, there is a sense of "consumption", of "termination" in that. While for a song...
    It does have the 'consumption' idea, but putting it out of its misery is undoubtedly a very positive thing to me- one beer's death is another person's joy. The song is a bit different, but I think that the beer example may hover in the middle.

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