Word of the week: Banal

Banal (rhymes with canal)


  • So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.
  • Devoid of freshness or originality
  • Drearily commonplace and often predictable

We may not speak this word, but we feel it. Don’t we?

The banal surrounds us–at home, at work, on the streets. Strip mall hell, lives of beige, falling in and toeing the line. We wear the right brands, live in the right houses, drive the right cars, speak the same drab small talk, eat and shop at the same chains.

And then we look around and our stomach turns.

We ache for one damn drop of authenticity in our lives. The me behind the we. And we get turned on and up by the rare glimpse of someone who breaks through—that real soul who dances his own dance and flips the proverbial bird at convention. The hairs on our arms rise. Our throats constrict. We are enchanted. We see what’s possible.

So we come to our mat. To get quiet and break through. To hear and remember who we are…beyond the advertising, beyond the expectations and demands of well-meaning family and friends, beyond our own comfort in conformity. Beyond the banal.

We flirted with the word ‘banal’ in Flow Class this past Saturday.
 Join us.

by Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau