If something is wicked, it’s bad. Morally, very bad. Evil even. It is fierce and vicious. Marked by mischief, disgustingly unpleasant, and wholly vile. It can cause harm, distress, or trouble: a ferocious storm, a tenacious fever, wild waves, a deadly avalanche. The teenager’s ski boots have a wicked odour.
Because of this, wicked goes beyond reasonable or predictable limits. It is of exceptional quality or degree. She’s a wicked skier. Which, of course, is good to most of us. Morally and visually and internally very good. It is fierce and vicious, the aggressiveness of her skiing. Not mischievous or evil or gross. Definitely not vile. If her skiing goes wrong, however, because it is so wicked, it could cause her harm, distress, or great amounts of trouble. She could crash and burn, tumble into oblivion. That self-inspired duality is the word’s essence, the inextricable connection between polar opposites. The word’s one constant, however, is that it pushes limits to the extreme and, in the end, can inspire exceptional quality. Bad, good, or perhaps in the case of the wicked stories you’re about to read in this magazine, something in between. Enjoy Issue #34. — Mitchell Scott, editor