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Use of “incredible” or “incredibly” as a vogue word to mean “extreme” or “very” or even nothing at all is rampant. Much less familiar is use of the word in its core sense, and on purpose. And occasionally the word is appropriate in its core sense, though contrary to the user’s intention. Christina Romer, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, provided an example in a TV interview on March 22. Reacting to congressional Republican warnings of doomsday if President Obama’s massive spending plan should be enacted, Mrs. Romer said that she was “incredibly confident” of economic recovery within a year.

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