When I was working on creating the right name for this blog, I looked up the phrase “eclectic taste”.
Whoa the hate.
It seemed there were so many people pissed off about the word eclectic. Even the Urban Dictionary definition oozes with snark and derision. I’ve never actually used the sentence “I have eclectic taste in music” but I would probably define my music library as such. I don’t remember when I learned the word, but I’ve always considered it a legitimate word that people just used; now, apparently, it’s used by pretentious hipsters (what does that even mean) or some other subset of society that…apparently actually doesn’t have an actual eclectic taste?
One collection of posts in the Google results included the question “why do people use eclectic instead of diverse?”
I don’t know, actually. I would probably use that instead, if I’d thought about it.
What do you mean when you say you have eclectic taste?
Sure, my car radio settings are basically anything listenable in the area, thus classical, R&B, Top 40, classic rock, contemporary rock, and country are all settings.
When I think of that phrase “eclectic taste”, I really mean not only listenability but comfort and enjoyment. I am just as comfortable in a symphony hall as a Broadway musical or a tiny punk show. I can rock out to Foo Fighters and rock with Bey. I would be just as excited about Justin Timberlake showing up at my door as I would Anna Netrebko–but that might be because I have equal sized crushes on both of them.
So maybe the problem that people have with the concept of “eclectic taste” is the outdated notion that most people only listen to one type of music. Most people I know can follow the Grammy awards with at least a concept of the performers in each category. Nobody says “I only listen to one type of music” anymore. But does that mean we need a better word for people who not only know all of these musical types, but enjoy every one of them? Maybe.
So, does saying my music tastes are eclectic make me a pretentious dick? I sure hope not. Maybe I should just say I’m an Equal Opportunity Music Lover.
What do you think?