I’m just going to come right out and say it: I have a vocab crush on the word “awesome.” It’s pretty, well, AWESOME! Something about that open first “ahhhh” syllable and the hissing finality of the last syllable speaks to me, like jumping out of an airplane and landing on your feet, arms akimbo, with no parachute. Which, admit it, would be pretty flipping awesome!
The word has cousins! If you need a sparkly noun, whip out “awesomeness” and watch it do its work. Then you have its Internet-dubbed superlative, “awesomesauce,” which ostensibly is made up of everything “awesome” ever could be, but, like, to infinity and beyond.
I have been guilty of overusing the word for some time now, but I only just realized it yesterday. My epiphany went a little like this:
Me, 11:25 am on Facebook: My mom is kinda awesome!
Me, 11:28 am on Facebook: Wow, you got a new job?! Awesomeness!
Me, 11:35 am on Facebook: It would be awesome if I could do awesome things with awesome people and just be awesome all the time.
Wait…did I just use awesome four times in the same sentence? I DID! That’s awesome!
Okay, okay, I’ll stop now. (Evil Grin). Henceforth, I will refer to “awesome” as the A-word, so no one throws tomatoes at their screen. I would love to blame my attachment to the A-word on the Internet, like I do most of my vices, but that would be an easy out. The truth is, I haven’t devoted much time to improving my word bank for terms that accurately express happiness. The A-word filled a void I didn’t know I had.
I fear that by slapping the A-word on every situation that so much as tickles me, I will have deadened its true potential. (Oops too late; according to this site, the definition has been watered down to a colloquial puddle since 1961). Obviously, the root word is “awe.” Frankly, most of the circumstances that inspire me to use the A-word do not merit a reflective hush, widened eyes, or stark wonder. “Great” or “cool” would probably suffice. But back when I abandoned “cool,” the A-word seemed like a good idea at the time!
Also, I know that expanding the words I say often will make me a better writer and editor.
I suppose, then, it’s time I go trawling the online Thesaurus for suitable replacements. That’s right, I said replacements, plural. Because as much as I want it to, every thing in life can’t be awesome. There are just too many words in the world for that.
So, what’s your word crutch? Do you have any substitutes I can use in place of “awesome?”
***My awesomesauce would consist of mango, cilantro, lime, red onions, black beans, and strawberries. Because I’m awesome like that.