What is up with this word and all the ones like it that people use for every interaction?!? When did this term lose its umph??
I was viewing a webinar recently and the facilitator was greeting everyone using the word, as if it meant ‘hi, good to see you’. On a call a few weeks ago, the person on the other line said ‘amazing’ where I would have just made the ‘uh huh’ sound. Did I miss the memo???
There are about 2,950,000,000 results (0.71 seconds)when you look in Google for amazing. About 491,000,000 results (0.47 seconds)for ‘amazing definition’. Though I have not looked at all of them, I feel pretty confident none of them stated, ‘hi, good to see you’ or ‘uh huh’ in their defining. There are SO MANY words in the English language, use your words people!
I want AMAZING to be a great surprise, full of wonder and astonishing. I crave the chance to behold incredible and powerful things that make my head spin, throw all conventional wisdom to the winds, mouth agape and speechless, I want that sense of appreciation, that it was by pure happenstance and a once in a lifetime experience. I want to be AMAZED!
While we’re at it, ‘awesome’ should be in that realm. Admittedly, I am guilty of using this term superfluously as well. I think certain people are awesome and events are pretty effin’ cool, but I should refrain from using the “A” word. I’m going to reserve that for standing on the precipice and looking out without the need of words.
Many of these are experienced in nature, larger than life or at least from our ordinary vantage points. Sometimes it requires taking a conscious effort to be still and appreciate the moment. Whether it’s a concert, baby’s first smile or a chance sighting from just the right angle in the blink of an eye and you were blessed to have lived it.
But I digress…
This is really about the way we describe things and use our words. We deflate the value of vocabulary, the gift of eloquence and the opportunity to be moved by language. It sets us apart from the ‘meh’ that interactions and thoughts or lack thereof can be. It’s the reason we read great books and articles. It’s how quotes become immortal and wars get started, movements are created that change the world and fall in love. We add to dictionaries and thesauruses every year because there are new ways to express ourselves. At the same time, we should not toss away and belittle terminology simply because we get lazy.
Some get upset or dismiss the use of curses as a lousy use of vernacular. When I work with youth, I allow what may be deemed as ‘foul’ language as long it is used appropriately. There are times when situations call for those words to dramatically convey a message, I say, bring it! Our rule about ‘effective cursing’ is all about the right word for the right situation. It’s about suitability, comprehension and articulation.
Words are magical. They don’t have to have more than 3 syllables to be worthy of prestige. But if you can’t use the ones we already have, I would rather you make up more than appropriate one and dilute it’s meaning. If you aren't sure, look it up. Dictionaries and thesauruses are your friend. Ironically, as I worked on writing this, I ran across a blog post on Oracle Base from over a decade ago about this exact phenomena (https://oracle-base.com/blog/2007/03/22/amazing-is-the-new-nice/), it’s worldwide, I tell you and it’s taking over the colonies….ahhhh!
Quit it! Stop using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means.
For more about my thoughts on words: https://medium.com/@ceciliawessinger/its-only-words-and-words-are-all-i-have-bd263e77870