This Word is Like, Amazing

Of course we all have much to complain about, and truthfully, there is little to complain about. It’s human nature. Some people will complain about today’s blog, and others will be infuriated to the point of grading the following essay. Grade away.

The idea for this little diatribe came from a recent HGTV program. A lady planned a move to Charlston, S.C., because she liked the old  town’s charm. Her complaint? She absolutely HATED the horse-drawn carriages found on virtually every street in the city. So my suggestion to the unresponsive television was for her to go elsewhere. Then the horses wouldn’t bother her.

I wish I had the same option for my biggest pet peeve, but I simply can’t get away from one simple word: amazing.

Have you noticed the word’s proliferation? I think it has replaced, “like.”

“Well, we like went to the store and like there was no place to park and so I like said to my wife, ‘Jeeze, like there’s no place to like park,’ and she looked at me like, ‘What did you expect on a Saturday,’ but like, I haven’t gotten out to shop on a Saturday in like, years.”

So what is the problem with like, amazing?

The word has been so overused that it no longer has any meaning.

Here’s the definition for “amazing” from my antique, 1972, actual hardback Webster’s Dictionary. I really looked it up. Amaze is defined as “bewilder, perplex, to fill with wonder, to show or cause astonishment.”

So, when you went out to dinner with your well-dressed significant other, did they look amazing? Yes, “look amazing” is incorrect grammar (and I hear it ALL the time), but was this person bewildering? Did they fill you with wonder? Were you astonished or perplexed?

Today everything is amazing. The weather, your dog, your dog peeing outside, this new product, that new hairdo, a person in general, are all amazing. Truly? Today I make my living with words, and I have never used this one in a novel. I never pronounce it, either.

The worst offenders are television personalities and newscasters. When they’re off the script, everything is amazing.

The point is that “amazing” is so overused that it no longer has any meaning. There’s an old saying that people who cuss a lot, simply don’t possess the language skills to express themselves. I think it’s true about the “a” word. It is so overused that individuals no longer even think of the true meaning, if they ever knew it at all. Today, “amazing” is “like.”

Media people especially, please, please, open your dictionary and educate yourselves with another word. There are myriad words to replace this dead and overused adjective.

Take note of how many times you hear this in the next few days, and it will amaze you. You might even be astonished.

It’s like, amazing, isn’t it?

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About reaviszwortham

Reavis Z. Wortham is the author of The Rock Hole, and Burrows (scheduled for release July 3, 2012), books one and two in The Red River Series. He also wrote Doreen's 24 HR Eat Gas Now Cafe. The Humor Editor for Texas Fish and Game magazine, he's also a columnist for a number of newspapers and is a frequent contributor for magazines. For more fun, visit his web page at www.reaviszwortham.com for photos, appearances, reviews, and a little look back into history with a glossary of east Texas words used in both books. Happy Perusing.
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3 Responses to This Word is Like, Amazing

  1. Rita says:

    During a student presentation, her peers counted how many times she used like in a 3 minute presentation but stopped at 75. Perhaps she used it so much because she had not idea of her topic. So as you wrote, like amazing!

  2. Flower Girl says:

    Wonderful !

  3. Sherry says:

    Remember the joke about the way older, Southern ladies use the word “amazing” as a way to indicate, in a lady-like way, that what you bragged about doing, is just a bunch of “hooey”. For example, a brash young man said, “I took that girl out and wouldn’t let me get a wink of sleep!” The genteel Southern granny commented, “That’s amazing!”

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