Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Crimes Against Awesome

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.

The Juggernaut

37 comments:

  1. I slept until 8 am and I'm still the first person to comment? AWESOME! :)

    Maybe it's because your new post did not show up in the reader. Nevertheless I am still staking my claim to being first. AWESOME!

    Now I need to get this submitted before somebody else beats me to it and ruins this awesome moment.

    I'll be back, dear Cherdo!

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    1. I don't know why I keep having to empty the cache to get my post to show up in the Reader, but here is the conundrum: I schedule them to automatically post at midnight (unless I'm actually at the computer writing them at midnight). I'm not on the computer and I don't realize it isn't in the reader till the next day.

      Any idea why this might be happening? I've figured out two reasons: 1) if you cut and paste a picture instead of uploading OR 2) if your cache needs emptied first. I just don't understand WHY.

      Delete
    2. I never heard of those things being a factor, Cherdo. The only times I have had problems with my posts not entering the reader were when I ran multiple part series and used a nearly identical title each time.

      Example:

      WEEK 1: Free Beer Pt. 1
      WEEK 2: Free Beer Pt 2
      WEEK 3: Free Beer Pt 3

      Readers showed up in abundance for part 1 but hardly anybody came back for parts 2 and 3 (maybe because they realized I was lying about the free beer). From that experience I learned to vary the titles enough so that Blogger/Google recognizes them as new and different posts and enters them into the stream.

      However, since you never use the same title twice in a row, the above does not explain why some of your posts have been m.i.a. for half a day or more before showing up.

      I hope you can get to the bottom of it!

      Delete
  2. Yeah, I overuse it. It's one of my pet words.
    However, that picture of your son is indeed awesome. Also because a new guitar is always awesome. (Trust me, I own enough of them!)
    My first memory of groovy was the cartoon The Groovy Ghoulies.

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    1. My used to be the Ops guy for a "major music retailer." He had the opportunity to try out a bunch of high dollar guitars and purchase to his heart's desire. He remains an Ibanez follower, I believe. The dude will customize the stew out of a guitar...

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Well, thank you...thank you VERY much. I'm so flattered.

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    2. I neded to delewte the commentt when i dishcovered a typo!!!!!

      (Like Holli, I tend to use too many !!!!!)

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  4. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    I have returned as warned... uh... promised. It is I/me, Shadzilla, that mushy rainbow-colored Easter chick that you either love or hate.

    I admit that I use the word "peeps" a lot. I peeps in a different window every night and I likes it. It's awesome.

    Remember when the word "excellent" was "cool" as in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure? "Excellent was used most awesomely in the Wayne's World sketches and movie.

    I don't believe a word that comes out of the mouths of those grocery bag boys. They say pretty much the same thing to every customer.

    Examples below:

    "Did you fine everything okay?" (No, I rummaged through the turnips for an hour and never found that stack of 100 dollar bills I hid in it after I robbed a bank the other day.)

    "Gettin' hot out there!" (Really? It's frickin FLORIDA in July, Einstein!)

    Your son the Juggernaut looks like Paul Bunyan in that first picture. That's an album cover waiting to happen. Totally rad!

    Thanks for the entertainment, dear friend Cherdo, and have an awe..have a fair-to-middling day!

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    1. Juggernaut is 6'5" when he slouches. Magoo is a respectable 6 ft, I believe, but when he was younger he used to ask me when he would grow the last five inches. Apparently, he thought it was a given that all my children would be 6'5" (not so).

      I totally forgot about "excellent!" I abused that one, too.

      In general, I guess I should be grateful that the bag boys note my presence at all. Usually they are all standing around complaining about their job. Didn't they understand the job before they took it? Go to college, man!

      Off to errands, m'dear! Ciao!

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    2. True story. As a teenager I was such a basketball fanatic that I begged my parents to allow me to undergo a medical procedure that would add a few inches length to my legs. I stood 6 feet - 1 inch but felt inferior to other guys on the team who towered over me and could dunk the ball. My parents denied my request so I started putting lifts in my shoes to look taller.

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  5. Word crimes. Loved this!!!

    I'm leaving for camp today: Awesome!

    We're going to stop at The Hard Rock Casino on the way: Ca-Ching!

    I, too, love the word "peeps" and have used it on my blog. BTW, I hate the real thing. Nasty Easter candy if you ask me. Which you didn't. Word.

    Have a great July and I'll be groovin' wit' ya when I get back.

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    1. Check the mail, girl....check the mail and have a GREAT time.

      Delete
  6. Some of those words are crimes, just like that! The only persons saying "Gag me with a spoon" or "Grody to the max" are doing it ironically.

    Ironical gets tiresome very quickly.

    Have a nice day; if an awesome day happens, run with it!

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    1. I truly believe that what we considered ironic, someone else thought was COOL.

      Thanks...I hope I'm running with it.

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  7. I use Peeps probably on a daily basis. I also overuse the word Sweet meaning Cool. I do like awesome and amazing too. I overuse exclamation marks the most!!!!

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    1. I've got a friend from the UK that seriously overdoes "brilliant."

      I'm as guilty as the next person of word crimes; I write what I know (ha ha).

      Delete
  8. I actually feel the same way about swear words, especially the f-word. The English language is one of subtlety and nuance. Why do so many people limit themselves to about five words? If you're constantly going on about the f-ing chair, the f-ing lamp, the f-ing laundry basket, the word ceases to have any meaning at all. You don't sound cool. You sound like an idiot.

    That said, the photo of the Juggernaut holding the guitar is f-ing awesome.

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    1. WE ARE IN THE SAME ZONE, SQUID. I absolutely hate the popularity of bad language, particularly the f-word. I don't want to insult anyone, but it automatically changes my opinion of a person when I hear that repeatedly or see it on their blog daily. I'll admit it...I have a true prejudice against that word now from the constant use of it.

      But in the case of Juggernaut and his picture...oh, yeah.

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  9. Guilty. I use "awesome," way to much. I'll have to work on that. :)

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    1. It's an addiction. I have it, too. Like I told Holli, I write what I know. :-)

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  10. I fell into all the slang words of the 90s, seeing as I was a kid. Don't really use any of them anymore. I think with awesome, it's transformed into an acknowledgement. It's now "OK". Which is weird, but whatever. I use it without thinking.
    One of the words I overuse like crazy that's not slang on anything is ridiculous, haha

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    1. You're exactly right, Madilyn - that's a perfect explanation. Awesome is the NEW okay and I do use it without thinking.

      Sadly, ridiculous is another favorite of mine, too - which is ridiculous and possibly awesome.

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  11. It's just awesome how much you used awesome in such an awesome way as you talk about the overuse of awesome with your awesome post shouting out awesome things about awesome being over used and even if my awesome comment about awesome is an awesome run on sentence while I over use awesome it is still awesome.

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  12. Cherdo, such a handsome lad, indeed. I am tired of hearing every announcer say "Let's give it up for....." What does that mean?

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    1. Ha ha ha...that's a great one, too. I think they're giving up comfort and silence in the audience.

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  13. Just the other day I told my 35 year old son I thought something was cool. He looked at me like I was a fossil.

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    1. That's hilarious (another word I overuse).

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  14. Well I was going to say awesome post but after Pat's awesome comment I don't know how well it would go over.

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    1. Yeah, it's been done now. But I will say that I fully expected EVERYONE to abuse awesome in the comments. :-)

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  15. My boss is a serial abuser of awesome. The other day was so rotten I went to him and said, " I have several things to say to you about this day... but three or four "awesomes", a couple or three head nods, and an eye roll ought to cover it."

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    1. You never cease to crack me up, Chris.

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  16. DOC CHERDO ~
    I'm way late checking in (lots of stuffs going on for me today), and I have NOT read any of the other comments yet, so please forgive if I repeat something someone else already said.

    First, I wanna tell ya that this blog bit was awes--- it was dang good and I really dug it. (Yeah, I say "dig" and "dug", but it took me about 2.5 decades before I accepted them and started using them myself. In fact, I didn't start using them until they had gone way outta fashion. Then I trotted 'em out and gave 'em new life.)

    You and I have very, very similar viewpoints on this stuffs!

    "Cool" will always be cool. Great word that's been with us so long that it ain't (and shouldn't be) going nowhere.

    I don't use "hipster" but it's back and has some sort of meaning I don't really understand. Something about young guys who think they're really cool, or sumpin' like that. I know they drink Pabst Blue Ribbon beer (which isn't very good beer). Beer Boy Bryan refers to hipsters sometimes, so whatever they are, he knows.

    Like you, I also hated the word "groovy", even when it was all the rage to say it. And no, it didn't even matter to me that Davy Jones (my favorite Monkee) used it. Remember the song 'Feelin' Groovy'? I liked the song but still hated the word.

    "Knarly" and "bodacious" - I hated 'em both, even though I was from the Southern California beach/surfer scene, and most of those guys couldn't say two sentences without using the word "knarly". The few times I've used those words, I was deliberately acting retar--- uhm... stoopid.

    I've probably said and/or written "dweeb" a total of 4 times in my life.

    "Jiggy wit it" - oh, sheesh! Hate it. If I use it, I'm likely spoofing it (e.g., maybe talking about Iggy Pop and saying "In that song, he got Iggy wid it!"

    "Wassup?" Confession: I kind of like it and use it every once in awhile.

    I have never said "word". To me it seemed silly and something young Black guys overused, and I don't want to be mistaken for a young Black guy (not that there's anything wrong with it).

    "Peeps" I've used a few times, and ONLY a few. I actually like eating Peeps better'n saying the word. Word!

    "Awesome" - Hear!-hear! So freakin' tired of hearing it. I do use the word "awesome" but only when I think sumpin' is truly awesome. Like you, I save it for awesome things.

    I prefer to make up or bastardize my own words and expressions. It always tickles me when I see others pick up on some of my specialties and start using them also.

    Remember the word "Boss"? I think that was a cool word and I'm sorry to see it has disappeared from our vocabulary (except when used to describe that dweeb in the suit behind the desk who calls us on the carpet). I think I may start using "boss" regularly again and see if I can resurrect it from the dead. (I've used it maybe 4 times in the last few years, but no one "gets" it anymore.)

    Speaking of awesome... YES, that photo you took of Juggernaut w/ guitar was indeed AWESOME!

    Did you do some photoshop stuffs to it to get the lighting on the guitar so brilliant while the rest of the picture is dark? Also, your son's face looks to have had some "darkening" added to get that effect where it seems like half photo and half painting. Regardless of how it was achieved, that photo is seriously boss!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Thank you, Stephen! In truth, the part that was awesome for me was that he thought "you totally get me."

      I wish I had Photoshop, but I can't justify purchasing high dollar software that I just use to play with photos. However, Picasa is free and happened to be on my computer. When I loaded the digital photo to the desktop computer, I played around with the contrast and then saturated the guitar color. The clouds became more intense, the bottom of Juggernauts body was near solid black (he was wearing black at the time) and I thought the over all effect was great).

      If I ever needed to Photoshop a picture of myself, I'd be in deep dookie.

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  17. I think it is so neato that you wrote this up. I am jiggy with it because it blows me to the max. I am "so there" with your bodacious attitude. It is really groovy that your son thought it swell to have his picture taken with his new guitar and the clouds moving in. Your son does look awesome by the way:)

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    1. Why, thank you, m'dear...we think he is a keeper. :-)

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo