"...So there is a recurring undercurrent in these senses of something insubstantial or temporary. Could it be that the peculiarly American sense of tacky grew out of this feeling of lack of substance or value?"
--from Michael Quinion's World Wide Words
No one's quite sure of the origins of tacky, but chances are it was born in Florida, so I've gone down there on a philosophical quest to understand how and why the tacky exert their ephemeral but undeniable appeal. The Golden Mean, the Golden Rule--enduring goodness is all well and good, but sometimes you just want to curl up with a Travis McGee novel and a garish drink. Is it just me, or is the bad sometimes good for you too?
Photo credit: mlberman25