The English language expert at grammar.about.com advises on many occasions against using the word iconic, claiming it is cliched and will make you sound trivial, without saying what to use instead. Is it really technically wrong or bad to use this word (or such an overused exaggerated adjective in general, like awesome or amazing, as the expert suggests)? If yes, what should be used instead to avoid sounding trivial?

Example (taken from grammar.about.com):

Mr. Leopold is not turning 95 years old, but his iconic ice cream business is. . .

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    The point of advice like this is not to seek blanket, one-size-fits all substitutes, but tune and adjust your language to suit the specific situation. Words become cliched not due to any fault in themselves, but because they are overused as a cheap cop-out or default to free the writer from the the burden of original thought or creative wordsmithing. – Dan Bron Mar 5 '15 at 17:58
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    Well, that's a sea change. – bib Mar 5 '15 at 18:00
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    A conic ice cream business might work. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 5 '15 at 18:39
  • Bravo @EdwinAshworth :) – Marv Mills Mar 5 '15 at 19:15

What Dan Bron said, in comment. Why not try something that actually describes some characteristic of Mr. Leopold's business? Such as,

Successful adjective: having achieved popularity, profit, or distinction. "a successful actor" synonyms: prosperous

Google.com successful"

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