Good Thing

Antonym of a BadThing.

c.f. 1066 And All That (Sellars and Yeatman), which used the capitalized phrase 'A Good Thing' to describe historical events which are universally accepted in schoolbook history as having a net positive effect. So, for example, the signing of the Magna Carta was A Good Thing.

Also, a popular MarthaStewart-ism, as in "it's A Good Thing", referring to ribbons on gift baskets and the like.

Some think that touches of beauty and pleasant fragrances like that of flowers are a GoodThing. Not to mention BeesMakeHoney of it.

The good is the enemy of the best, and vice versa.


And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good - need we ask anyone to tell us these things? -- Plato

Some question still exists whether it is possible for anyone to actually say whether a thing is a GoodThing or a BadThing or even good or bad. This page is not about that. Try EverythingIsRelative.

Some are certain that they know whether a thing is a GoodThing or a BadThing and are rarely troubled about having discriminations which identify things as good or bad. They usually are uncomplicated, simple and common people one usually can value as being one of their friends. They probably don't even consider that people have difficulty in knowing the difference, but may have trouble in choosing those they know are good, over the things they know are bad.


Saying something is a GoodThing, is not the same as just saying it's a good thing. If something is a good thing that's a straightforward statement about its relative merits. If something is a Good Thing, that means that it has some sort of generally recognised status as being of accepted value or virtue. Its goodness is part of a people's current values and you'd be taking a fairly radical stance it you argued against it. - Or at least I think that's what it means.

-- Stephen Hutchinson

Yes indeed! And the same Good Thing happened when we capitalized the "o" in "object", which is just a fancy word for "thing" when it comes right down to it. But on Wiki, the "init caps" status means something a little different, as it signals the advent of discussion (or, god help us, "dissertation") on the idea, something that happens far before the value or virtue of the idea has been exposed. -- WaldenMathews

Good as expressed in good thing means "acceptable", or also as opposed to an alternative "more fitting", and as such is based on the judgement of the one making the expression. As in: When someone who advocates the use of ExtremeProgramming expressing the use of a particular method as a good thing, the meaning is that it fits the overall scheme. Those who judge the "goodness" or "badness" of the thing, do so more as acceptance or rejection of the overall scheme, the thing itself, and the expresser as well. This fits the sense expressed in EgoCentrism.


I think it is a GoodThing when we use GoodThing to express our current and personal judgement of a specific situation. GoodThing allows us to share our gut feeling instead of using our heads. Sharing personal truths can be as valuable (and a lot easier) than trying to reason about UniversalTruths. -- PaulCaswell


A GoodThing might be "good" the first minute and a BadThing the next. It's usually based on outcomes over time. ''ItDepends on Audiences and constituencies as well, as to how a Thing is viewed and valued. But such may say more of the nature of the Audience and Constituency than of the thing.

Doesn't "Good Thing" suggest a certain general acceptance over time, though? -- BrentNewhall

You people! Tsk, tsk. Where I come from (the western Galactic arm) you need to include the trademark notice on any mention of a Good ThingĀ®. Only matters on the GalacticWiki.

Tsk tsker, Take note in the difference GoodThing vs Good ThingĀ®. Please do not Tsk tsk Us People! for having valuing systems that are not based on Commercial TradeMarks? or interests.


Wasn't it WinnieThePooh who first used the phrase GoodThing with such overtones, or was it just the word good? -- AndrewCates


Some GoodThings are labeled GoodThings by the recipient of a consideration, gift, or a courtesy. It may have been offered and done because the doer was able, willing, and of state of mind where such deeds were considered as the "thing one does". While the former values it as a GoodThing, the latter may only consider it as a "thing to be done". An application of the golden rule where one does appropriate and thoughtful things for others because they are needed and the doer has the capability and resources to do it. -- DonaldNoyes


''Crawly, for his part, spends the next six thousand years increasingly convinced that he did a GOOD thing, what with pointing out the forbidden apple to the humans and all.

He also decides to change his name to Crowley. Crawly just didn't suit him at all.'' -- NeilGaiman
See GoodThingDiscussion

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