I know I can’t be the only one with an aversion to certain words. Take the word MOIST, for example. Unless you’re describing a cupcake, the connotation makes me gag and I can’t stand it. #booknerdproblems
However, another word has appeared as overused lately and I’d like to explore the usage of this word. AMAZING.
Think about it for a second. Anytime anyone wants to describe something they think is GREAT, they use this word. For some reason the words good or great don’t seem to carry enough weight, so we use AMAZING instead.
Try this AMAZING new supplement/beauty product/diet plan.
My son’s teacher this year was AMAZING.
You’re an AMAZING friend.
We had an AMAZING vacation.
She had an AMAZING idea.
Am I the only one hearing “Everything is Awesome” (from the Lego Movie) playing on repeat in my head?
But seriously, do any of these sentences actually tell you ANYTHING pertinent about this product, teacher, friend or vacation? Webster’s dictionary defines AMAZING as causing astonishment, great wonder or surprise. In and of itself, the word is not descriptive at all.
My husband and I have had whole conversations about the overuse of this word. We come up with random sentences with the overdramatic use of this word as a descriptor, complete with eye rolls and stoner voice and complemented by the word “dude.” Similar to how the persistent use of profanity proves your lack of adequate vocabulary, using this word just tells the people around you that you couldn’t think hard enough to find a word that actually describes what you’re talking about. Or maybe that you selectively forgot everything you learned in middle school English class.
Instead of rambling on uselessly (this, coming from a self-proclaimed chatterbox) find a word that actually tells me something useful! Is the product revolutionary? Was the teacher kind? Is your friend thoughtful? I’m willing to bet your vacation was relaxing and the idea is innovative. It’s not to say that your friend can’t be AMAZINGLY THOUGHTFUL.
Maybe I’m way off base here, but I think the English language is ripe with descriptive words begging to be used in more effective communication. Imagine using our brains to talk to others in real life and develop deeper relationships!
Well that would be just … AMAZING.