Friday, October 18, 2013


It's 2013, as you may or may not know, and if you can believe it, there are still people raging against the improper use of the adjective "awesome". This is not a recent complaint, of course, and as far as I know, the modern use of the word has been actively denounced and despised for at least a decade. In fact, the debate has been so heated that even my dog now knows that "awesome" should be used only to describe something sublime, wonderful and overwhelming, like a raging storm at sea, or a volcanic explosion. Today, instead, just brushing the aforementioned dog a couple of times a month will grant me an "awesome!" from my husband. Isn't that sublime indeed?

Dear readers, today I just want us all to raise a white flag of surrender. "Awesome!" is here to stay, possibly for a long time. Not forever, but at least as long as other irritating exclamations of approval. The reason behind my call for peace is simple. "Awesome" is not the first or the last word whose meaning has been crushed into meaninglessness. Most people who abhor awesome still use the word "cool" for phenomena that have nothing to do with temperature, and even those who think themselves superior to "cool" have used the word "adorable" to praise a baby other than the baby Jesus.

So, let's all be reasonable and stop complaining. If you don't want to use it, don't (I try not to describe anything as a "train wreck", for example). There are worthier causes to defend, and the natural constant changes of spoken language are really an enemy too big for us to defeat. And then, at least "groovy" is gone, right?

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