Friday, April 9, 2010

achieve advanced awesomelessness with alternate adjectives

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AWESOME. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

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Imagine, if you will, a world without the word awesome infiltrating your besieged mind every twenty seconds.

How long has it been going on, anyway? It's starting to feel like forever.

Just between us, we can probably all admit to having used the a-word once in an unguarded moment. Maybe we were trying to seem youthful or connected to our society, unconsciously mimicking those around us. To adopt the slang of our times is to demonstrate we have the chops to notice cultural trends and nuances. It means we're paying attention. It assures everyone we don't live in a cave.

Language works that way. I understand that. We seek to verbally harmonize.

Once an especially compelling word or phrase spreads-- and in this day and age, saturation happens quickly-- it becomes pervasive. For some reason, awesome seems especially stubborn.

Whatever elegance and strength the word awesome might originally have had is now diluted beyond salvation.

For the record, I realize that in everyday comunication we probably shouldn't strive to write and speak with the pathological uniqueness of a Victorian essayist from another planet. We can't completely avoid verbal trends; in fact, we'd probably find it close to impossible.

But enough is enough. Online and in person, we can choose to paddle our oars upstream against this unfortunate oversaturation. We can use discretion. We can lead by example when a word reaches out-of-control status.

Why keep blurting out the same overworked adjective when legions of equally enthusiastic and positive alternate words and phrases sit in some dark corner of our vocabulary, rusting from disuse?

Imagine a world where awesome has fallen away from the daily vernacular.

Wow. That would be so totally cool.

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