Empty Praise


Empty Praise

There was a time when awesome really meant ”inspiring awe”—
events like the moon landing that made one drop one’s jaw,
sights of numbing beauty or achievements of great skill,
art pieces by the masters or achievements of great will.

Yosemite is awesome and so is Everest.
Those climbing it are “awesome.” You know they are the best.
But today the word has fallen into widespread use—
ubiquitous right to the point where it’s become abuse.

Rap music is most awesome, as is that way-cool blouse.
You drive an awesome car and live inside an awesome house.
My neighbor’s beau is awesome. So are her dog and cat.
Her garden blooms are awesome, like her new purse and her hat.

You might have guessed by now that awesome’s not my favorite word.
I think the overuse of it is frankly quite absurd.
This pizza is not awesome, though you may find me petty
for saying it is merely good, and so is the spaghetti.

Your child is lovely, so’s your dress, your silverware and smile.
But none of them are awesome—that word brings up my bile.
Please use some other word for it—some adjectival jaw full.
Because in my opinion, using awesome’s simply awful!!

Daily Post:The prompt today was “Verbal Ticks.” Is there a word or a phrase you use (or overuse) all the time, and are seemingly unable to get rid of? If not, what’s the one that drives you crazy when others use it?http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/verbal-ticks/

19 thoughts on “Empty Praise

  1. Pingback: The Most Overused Adjective in the English Language. | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  2. Cee Neuner

    I’ve actually stopped using “awesome”….at least almost. 😀 Here is a quick description of the word awe

    That verb “to awe” comes from the noun “awe,” which came from the Old Norse word “agi,” meaning “fright or terror,” and first appeared in the 13th century. “Awe” meaning “fear” was so often used in religious contexts, however, that it gradually acquired the meaning of “fear mixed with respect and reverence” toward, for instance, one’s deity. In secular contexts, “awe” came to mean, as the Oxford English Dictionary puts it, “the feeling of solemn and reverential wonder, tinged with latent fear, inspired by what is terribly sublime and majestic in nature, e.g., thunder, a storm at sea.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lifelessons Post author

      So I guess we’d agree that it is overkill when applied to a new pair of shoes or a bowl of guacamole??? ;o)

      What bothers me is that people don’t even try to search for the right word. They just grab at one that is easily accessible–like wearing the same shirt every day.


  3. angloswiss

    Awe or awesome is not a word I often met in my travels through various countries, although I notice that some places cannot do without it. I would here make the comparison with “nice”, everything is nice like it is awesome, but what is nice. I am nice, you are nice and we have not said very much really. So I enjoyed that nice pice of poetry you wrote.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      But nice is sort of namby pamby whereas if someone uses awesome it should be for something awe-inspiring!! Nice is overused–even by me–but its original meaning is not entirely overlooked in using it.


  4. Pingback: Not Perpetually in Awe | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  5. Pingback: Celebrity Questions Answered by a Non-Celebrity | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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