Sunday, October 21, 2007

And Then Some

I am disturbed by the ubiquity of the word "awesome." On one level, it's use is characterized for me by Ty Pennington, the very embarrassing host of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." He's someone who uses it as his go-to compliment, and his overuse of it tends to makes me suspect his overly sincere sincerity.

But some of my favorite writers use it all the time, and I'm fine with that. It comes out of my own mouth regularly. Sometimes people use it ironically and sometimes it just an approving exclamation. It's just weird that super square button-down types, uber hipsters, and everyone in between have all embraced it to such a degree. The word has the same feeling to me now as "like" or "you know" in some people's conversation -- just a placeholder or a reflex.

How did this happen?

I've been trying to substitute some synonyms, just to mix things up. I like "Righteous!" Hybrid-Fat-n-Sassy had another good suggestion that I can't remember now. Remind me, lady!

P.S. In my fantasy world, all uses of "awesome" would be replaced by "OMG!!! Ponies!1! Who's with me?!


Night Editor said...

I'm in. But only if we all wear Britney's Fantasy and change our voices to shrieks.

My pet peeve reflex is the phrase, "sort of." I hear it all the time from the same uber hipsters, from coffee-shop chatters. "It was a sort of never-ending line and so we decided to leave." or "So we sort of sat there and thought about it awhile." No, actually, it WAS a never-ending line and no, actually, you did sit there awhile and now I wish you would just . . .

BTW, I'm sympathizing with the sort of ennui-thing going on, too (re Hybrid Fat-n-Sassy comment).

cK said...

You dislike the overuse of "awesome"? I have to say, Sassmaster: this seems like a less-than-veiled shot at yours (awesome) truly!

>> huffing away, then returning with a puppy-like expression of glee <<

What about:
* Totally tubular!
* Fantasgreat!
* Jawohl!
* Capital!

Hybrid Fat-n-Sassy said...

I can't remember what I suggested either, but for now I'd like to submit "bitchin'!"

Sassmaster said...

OMG ck, I lurve the way you say awesome. I often mimic it. Sort of an AWwwsuuuum. Nice.

I guess, in a completely unfair double standard, I like it when people I admire use the word and with everybody else, it seems like a sign of limited vocabulary. I'm complicated!

superbigmuch said...

Born to a Grammar Nazi, I actually consciously made the choice in 1996 to start peppering my somewhat stilted, parochial speech with what the kids were saying. I specifically chose "awesome!" for its enthusiasm and laid-back connotation.

I too can wince at times when I hear myself or others say it; yet, I have never gone back.

Lollie said...

cK says awesome like Abe Lincoln would in the Ambien commercials.

Awesome is overused - by me as well. When I really want to express that something is truly awesome to me, I substitute awe-inspiring.

Boomer said...

God, I don't get out much. I can't even remember when I heard it last. Maybe it's something that just no longer registers.

And what does Ponies!1! mean?

mully said...

i am so in

Whiskeymarie said...

I used to NEVER use the word awesome. Ever. Ever.
In fact, I regularly hassled my sister about using it so much.

Then I thought it would be funny to use it ironically.

Bad idea.

Now I'm never sure if I'm being funny or sad when I use it as it comes out of my mouth and fingers so much.

I will be checking myself into the Betty Ford Center for bad grammar any day now.

I will, however, never be sorry for how much I love when people say
"wicked awesome".
I love that.