There's a pattern of minimalism with adjectives, don't you think? It's almost criminal, people. A word becomes part of our day to day conversation and the next thing you know, we go from using it to overusing it. Nothing can make us spread the love around to the other perfectly good adjectives. A whole dictionary or thesaurus packed with adjective potential won't get us to budge.
Some words are holdovers from past generations; they've got staying power. The word "cool" actually entered slang history in the forties, while "hipster" joined the ranks in the fifties.
In the sixties, everyone said "groovy." By that time, I had entered the real world of elementary school and found myself conversing with school mates. Distinctly, I remember the first time I heard the word "groovy" used in a sentence and even at the tender young age, I thought it was stupid. Groovy? Was there a lot of grooves in something and we were impressed? Hey, everyone, look how groove-y that is...
Only Davy Jones could save it. If a Monkee says groovy, well...it's groovy.
Sure, I initially thought that was a stupid word. I refrained from using it, right? Nope; I'm just like the other sheep. I follow the crowd sometime, in spite of my claims of uniqueness. The Monkees said groovy, people.
Heck, I gave in to "dig it?" Might as well make it a full confessional and cleanse myself.
"Knarly" and "bodacious" arrived with the eighties and I managed to steer clear of both. Likewise with "dweeb." Proudly, I tell you that I've never said "gag me with a spoon."
Flowing into the nineties, I never "got jiggy wit it" or asked "wassup?" I have said "word" because that struck me as amusing and the perfect ending to punctuate a point or agreement. There's an added funny component when a housewife says it and I want to take advantage of that. Word.
I've decided I must be more particular that the average person. So far, in the twenty-first century, I've managed to avoid most of the slang floating around with the exception of "peeps." Peeps reminds me of ....peeps, that mushy rainbow-colored Easter chick that you either love or hate.
All this is leading up to my rant of the day: crimes against the word "awesome." Everyone, including me, overworks the word awesome. We're totally ruining it. What word are we going to use when and if we actually see or hear something awesome?
A few examples from an average day:
- Grocery Bag-boy: Whether or not I use paper or plastic to bag my groceries is NOT awesome. Come on, man. You didn't need me to point that one out. It's also not awesome that I don't need help taking my groceries to the car, yet you exclaim that like a diamond just fell out of the sack and I told you to keep it for a tip.
- Nurse at the doctor's office: Is it really awesome that I don't need to update my forms? Really? What would it be if I WERE updating my forms? Pretty incredible, huh?
- Cold Call Lawn Guy: No, we don't need your high priced mowing and pruning; we do our own yard. Why do you think that's awesome?! Aren't you trying to drum up business? Another thing: I've got a yard that is over three acres; come back when Hubzam is mowing and tell him how awesome it is. Bring an ice bag.
- Secretary: The fact that I can attend the committee meeting does not automatically make it awesome. I know, I know; it seems like that would be a given. But, no. If I do magically make all committee meetings awesome, we need to discuss a payment schedule. I can't be giving this away. Monetize me, baby.
Seriously, I'm a huge offender in crimes against awesome and all the while, I'm fully aware that it is automatic and meaningless 99% of the time. I intend to correct it. "That's good" would work just fine, thus enabling me to save my awesomes till an appropriate time. Some awesome things do occur.
A perfect example would have been the day I took that picture (above) of my oldest son, Juggernaut He's huge in size and personality. In fact, if you saw a picture of us standing side by side, you'd think I was sitting down. Juggernaut is a talented guitarist. A terrible storm was blowing in; he had just picked up a new guitar and he was raving about it. A picture seemed in order and the gathering storm seemed like the perfect background. I laid down on the ground and aimed the camera upward. At the time, he was really pleased with the result and he remarked "you totally get me."
That moment was made of 100% awesome.