Trend Watch

Reductive

When:

Lookups spiked on January 13, 2012.

Why:

In a television interview, Madonna was asked what she thought of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" – a song that resembles Madonna's "Express Yourself." Madonna replied: "It feels reductive." When the interviewer asked if that was good, Madonna smiled coyly and said, "Look it up."

Even after they looked it up, many people still weren't sure what Madonna meant.

Reductive is a disapproving word that means "dealing with or describing something complicated in a simple or too simple way."

Was Madonna saying that Lady Gaga's hit lacks nuance in its message or performance? Or that the newer song is "reduced" by a lack of originality? Is it possible that Madonna meant to use a word like derivative ("lacking originality, banal")?

Either way, this usage caused a wave of comments in the Seen & Heard section of reductive.

Photo: MissChampers / flickr

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