George Carlin did a hilarious bit about how he didn't appreciate being told to have a "nice" day:
Have a nice day, indeed! Maybe I don’t feel like having a nice day.
Maybe—just maybe—I’ve had twenty-seven nice days in a row, and I’m ready
for a crappy day. You never hear that, do you?
But then he explains a little bit about why he doesn't appreciate being told to have a nice day, specifically because of the word "nice."
I think what bothers me most about the whole “nice day” thing is that
word “nice.” It’s a weak word. It doesn’t have a lot of character.
“Isn’t he nice? He is so nice. And she’s nice too! Isn’t that nice? How nice they are!”
I don’t care for it. It’s like “fine.” Another weak word.
It's not very descriptive, is it? It's one of those words when you can't think of another word to fill in the cracks--whatever you're describing wasn't horrible, but neither was it amazing or awesome. The dictionary defines nice as "pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory" all of which imply that something was definitely not bad, but not exactly high on the good side of the continuum, either.
There's not a lot of strength behind nice, and that's really it's purpose--you didn't really have an opinion on whatever it was you were being forced to describe, but you know you can't really have a negative opinion, so nice will suffice.
As an English speaking society, we've decided that nice is our synonym
for that feeling of "eh, it's alright, I guess, if I had to say
something positive, yannow...?" Everyone who uses nice realizes this, at least subconsciously, the same way we know that "she has a great personality" means she's fat and/or ugly and/or not the brightest crayon in the box and/or your best friend's sister.
So why is it that the last two messages I've received on OKCupid have told me that I have "nice curves" and "nice hair?"
I would certainly hope any man I date thinks my curves are more than just satisfactory.