…adjective, causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing.
I have observed a growing use of the word amazing. Drives me nuts. I suppose I’m not alone.
How was the ballet? Amazing!
The dancers? Amazing. The choreography? Amazing. The costumes? Amazing.
The orchestra? Amazing.
The public? You guessed!
The awesome, tremendous, titanic, stupendous, spectacular and totally unbelievable overuse of amazing is making the word mundane and oh-so ordinary and that irks, annoys, irritates and distresses me.
Wicked, cool, dope, fresh, bad, hittin’ and stickin’ like Popeye’s Chicken … when I was growing up, there were 1,000 different ways to refer to something as “very good”.
That was then, this is now.
And no, hipsterism does not count as creativity (nostalgia is not a new concept).
Today the world is one long bandwagon of sameness, and for proof of this, I invite you to stop by any coffee shop and look at the people pecking away at their MacBooks. Same clothes, same music, same messed up hair, same computer … and most of all … same words. In particular, one word.
Jesus H. Christopher Christ with a side of rice, I swear I heard this word over 100 times yesterday alone.
How was lunch? It was amazing. The new band you just discovered? Amazing.
iPhone on Verizon? Amazing. Your last vacation? Amazing.
Briefly describe your mother? An amazing woman. Your kids? They’re amazing too.
Everything out of everyone’s mouth these days just sounds so insincere. Fake. Phony.
We’ve become a culture so beaten over the head with marketing and advertising that we are now starting to speak like the commercials themselves.
I cannot pinpoint when the amazing fad started, but I do know that the whole thing has gotten to a point of absurdity. The word no longer has any meaning. None at all.
Nope, unless you are the most superficial and insincere person on the planet, it just doesn’t fit.
As a matter of fact, 99.999% of the uses of the word amazing do not fit … unless you are a fetus. Given their point of comparison (the womb), newborn babies are amazed by everything in their first few months of life.
And with that last sentence, I feel that I may be on to something.
If you think about it, my theory makes sense. Perhaps the word is not overused. Perhaps the people who use it really are sincerely overwhelmed by everything not commonly found in a strip mall.
Instead of constantly complaining about them, I should probably make a greater effort to help my brothers and sisters assimilate into the real world.
And so I will.
For all of you folks out there who are easily amused and find absolutely anything and everything to be amazing, please allow me to give you some synonyms:
the interactive exhibit at the planetarium was truly amazing: astonishing, astounding, surprising, stunning, staggering, shocking, startling, stupefying, breathtaking; awesome, awe-inspiring, sensational, remarkable, spectacular, stupendous, phenomenal, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable; informal mind-blowing, jaw-dropping; literary wondrous.
If you use these words in place of amazing, not only will you still get your point across, but you will separate yourself from every other suburban drone who has whittled their vocabulary down to a single word.
Or, you can just be honest.
You can say that lunch was “alright, I don’t suppose you can mess up a hamburger”.
You can say that the iPhone is “acceptable for my tasks”.
You can say that your last vacation was “generally enjoyable. I was just relieved to get away from work for awhile”.
If you cannot, however, resist the urge to speak like goddamn Liberace; If you have to live your life like an infomercial; If you just have to be the most insincere person in the conversation, then please … use a word from the list of synonyms above.
Amazing has lived out its useful life, and it’s time for it to die an astonishing death.
With all due respect, I want some ordinary dialog back. Thank you, and have an enjoyable weekend. I’m off to the land were everything is, . . .