Have you ever noticed that the word awesome is used quite a bit? Maybe you yourself are an “awesome” word user? If you are, how many times have you referred to something as awesome today? Be honest, like really honest, have any of the things that you have referred to as awesome actually been awesome? Comedian and Ted speaker Jill Shargaa seems to think that there is a massive overuse of the word and after listening to her hilarious Ted talk “Please, please people. Let’s put the ‘awe’ back in awesome.” I kind of have to agree with here.
There can be no discussion of the the overuse of the word “awesome” without getting into the definition of the actual word. Jill says that Webster’s dictionary definition is “awesome: as fear mingled with admiration or reverence,a feeling produced by something majestic.” Do you still think that the last think you called awesome is truly awesome?
Is the mundane awesome?
Jill shares some pretty mundane examples that have been referred to as awesome, such as someone at her work asking her if a document can be converted to a pdf. When Jill says yes, she is acknowledged with an “awesome.” When out to lunch Jill is asked by the server if she has been there before and is offered an “awesome” response when she says she has.
The death of Good and Great
Jill refers to a former Ted speaker Neil Pasricha, who presented a Ted talk around the release of his book “The Book of Awesome” a book about finding the everyday moments in life that we can be in awe of. I love Neil’s book and I think that it is important to be in awe of the mundane moments, in fact I wrote a post about it after watching Neil’s talk!
However, I can see where Jill is coming from. Have we completely annihilated the words good and great from the English dictionary or have we just automatically upgraded all the mundane moments from good and great to awesome? What do we call truly awesome moments, such as man landing on the moon? Will they now be called super awesome?
I am guilty of overusing the word awesome. I think it started when I was at university with international students from America. They kept overusing the word and it stuck. I must have said awesome at least 5 times today and it’s only lunch time!
While I do agree with Jill, I have no plans to stop using the word awesome for mundane events. Come on let’s face it, it’s a losing battle. The word is so overused by now that I don’t think that it will get put back on a reserved pedestal for truly amazing events.
I just hope that the word ‘amazing’ doesn’t get overused, as that’s the word I use for truly awesome things!
If you haven’t watched Jill’s Ted talk do yourself a favour and hit play and you will be in fits of giggles in no time!
What do you think? is there a massive overuse of the word awesome, or can even the most mundane parts of life be considered awesome? Let me know what you think in the comment box below.