March 11, 2008

Horse 866 - The Awesome Awesomeness of Awesome

AWESOME -- Given a one-year moratorium in 1984, when the Unicorn Hunters banished it "during which it is to be rehabilitated until it means 'fear mingled with admiration or reverence; a feeling produced by something majestic." Many write to tell us there's no hope and it's time for "the full banishment."

"The kind of tennis shoes you wear, no matter how cute, don't fit the majestic design of the word." -- Leila Hill, Damascus, Maryland.

"That a mop, a deodorant or a dating service can be called 'awesome' demonstrates the limited vocabularies of the country's copywriters." -- Tom Brinkmoeller, Orlando, Florida.

"Overused and meaningless.' My mother was hit by a car.' Awesome. 'I just got my college degree.' Awesome." -- Robert Bron, Pattaya, Chonburi, Thailand.

Wouldn't you know, I deleted and forgot where the link was... drat

I really despise the overuse of the word awesome. Awesome is one of those words which for some reason has come to take up a pointless placeholder in people's vocabulary. The OED defines the root word awe as to be filled with a deep sense of respect and fear and wonder. The things which I find are worthy of such a word are not a pair of sneakers, a sandwich or a new shirt.

Standing on a lookout at the Grose Valley gives you a sense of the awesome. To stand there is a case where creation yells so loudly that you're forced to stand there in the midst of your surrounds and simply shut up. - This is Awesome

I had the fortune to go for a wander around the Queen Mary 2 while she was in port in Sydney a while back. At 148,000 tonnes, 13 decks, and standing 60m above the water line, this is an awesome ship. She has 15 restaurants, an atrium which is 6 stories tall and a powerplant which generates 157,000 horsepower (over 5 and a half times the power of a Formula One grid). - This is Awesome

The white cliffs of Dover for a traveller returning to England are a stark reminder of the Sceptered Isle that is Britain. On a clear day you can see them from Calais which is 40 miles away. Voted Britains 3rd most important national wonder, they fill the traveller with a tremendous sense of wonder and that you're coming home. - This is Awesome

I think that the overuse of the word awesome has drained it of its power. Can you honestly say that Gustav Holst's Mars with its rising power is truly awesome anymore? What happens when faced with the raw power of the Atlantic Ocean that can rip ships to bits and which has sent many a mariner straight to Davy Jones' lock - how can that be awesome anymore? What of the utter vastness of the night sky, for which a zillion suns burn, wasting power as though it were rubbish? Where has the awesome gone? Is it really in a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars? I doubt it.

And now:

One Word Weather With Nelson Mandela

Are you right in there Mr Mandela?

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