July 05, 2012


…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:
amazing, adjective
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, . . . 


Anonymous said...

That post is . . . astounding!

frenchtoast said...

Who can be amaaaaazing, astonishing, awe-inspiring, awesome, exciting, hair-raising, heart-stirring, impressive, magnificent, moving, overwhelming, spine-tingling, stunning, thrilling …
NO man.”

you come close Ms Edna!

the appreciative dinosaur said...

¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨▲.︵.▲
¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨◄ƒ░░ 0 }.....︵.
¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨◄ƒ░░░░░░ o")
¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ◄ƒ░░░(────.•^'''
¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ◄ƒ░░░§ ´
)\¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ◄ƒ░░░░§ ¨ ¨ ¨✺✺✺
) \ ¨ ¨ ¨◄ƒ░░░░░§¨ ¨ ¨\|//✺
);;\ ¨ ¨ ◄ƒ░.︵.░░░§__(((
);;;\¨ ¨◄ƒ░(░░)\______//

Awsome thought!

Ms. Edna (squared) said...

This won't get you an increase in your allowance!

your gaggle of fans said...


Bruce said...

(✿◠‿◠) Thanks & Aloha.

Anonymous said...

Everythings Amazing & Nobodys Happy.

Anonymous said...

everybody is amaaaaazing -
because you can't get arrested for it!;-)

Anonymous said...

-"--"- hmmm you're just so am...,strike that, interesting.

a Brit said...

'Brilliant' should share the top spot with 'amazing'. Stephen Hawking is brilliant. Zubin Mehta is brilliant. The sun's rays are brilliant. But just because we enjoyed a movie, does that mean it was brilliant? Or do TV repairmen, no matter how good they are, really do a brilliant job? And is an idea to go shopping when we are dispirited, brilliant? I don't think so.

Ban the bugger!

Ms. Edna (squared) said...

Damn straight.

neither amazing nor awsome said...

I don't think 'amazing' is particularly overused...now the word 'awesome' is. Every @#$% person over here (USA) says it nearly every sentence:
I just tripped over...awesome. Went to the dentist today...awesome buddy. I ate a donut....awesome.
Considering everything is awesome you would think that we would be far a far happier bunch of people.

Edna too said...

All wrong...
The most overused and abused word in the English language right now is "passionate".
I am NOT passionate about my work, about football, about pinot bleeding noir, about cauliflowers, about coffee, about holidays or about shoes - and I don't believe anyone who says they are, are. I do not have a passion for design, for speed, for life, for excellence or for experience. I don't believe it is possible (as my supermarket manager tried to convince me yesterday) for a tin of tomatoes to be 'bursting with passion'. I don't like passion fruit. I hated The Passion of the Christ. The word should be banned until people stop using it to mean everything from 'quite like' to 'ripe, but not overripe'. Grrr.

Ms. Capshaw said...

The most offending words of 2011 were:


Baby Bump
Shared Sacrifice
Man Cave
The New Normal
Pet Parent
Win The Future
Thank You In Advance

“Amazing,” as a banished word, represents a common frustration amongst logophiles: mundane words that are overused, often incorrectly.

Loved the post and images, thank you.

Beata said...

I just adore Ms. Edna’s blog. It’s awsome.
Now let's go get some fish and chips. Brilliant idea!

Alistair said...

its a bit overused, overdone & completely unoriginal. ‘Mark my words’ such ‘emotion-packed’ brilliant dialog can ‘drive you up the wall’.

irritating words & irritating phrases