“That’s Awesome!” Really?

Watching the sunset over the ocean on a cool summer night while eating takeout Thai food.

Seeing a piece of artwork that was created with such an immense amount of emotion that you can feel it all – the happiness, the pain, the anger of the artist themselves.

Spontaneous road trips with your friends, jamming out to ’90s throwbacks with the windows down, feeling infinite.

Hiking to the top of a mountain to gaze at the scenery before you – too perfect to capture on camera.

Now this is awesome. (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons).

All these things are “awesome,”  in the true sense of awe inspiring. That is what this word, which Webster Dictionary dates back to 1598, is meant to describe. It is not to describe your friends outfit, your favorite professor, that football game or the Brambleberry Crisp ice cream you had at Jeni’s last night. Well… maybe the ice cream.

To put it simply, our world is in a word crisis. We have lost the art of expressing our feelings and experiences with words that actually articulate what we are trying to stay. We reduce mind blowing experiences, such as seeing the Eclipse, to the same level as a sandwich you had for lunch.  

If you are one of the many that has been subject to this epidemic then you are not alone. Don’t drown in guilt, but please –check yourself next time you want to call something as miniscule as a Snapchat filter “awesome.” Think about what is really phenomenal and miraculous on this planet. Think about the injustice to those people, events, experiences and objects when we use the same word to describe pointless, irrelevant items.

A handy tool. (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons)

There are a limitless amount of words to choose from in the English language, not even including the amount of words we make up each year. Why do we revert back to the word “awesome” time and time again? Is it laziness? Lack of knowledge? Lack of imagination? To waste breath? Whatever the reason, I believe it’s time to challenge ourselves when it comes to expressing our emotions and thoughts with words. Humans are complex individuals, but we do ourselves a disservice when we use – and misuse – predictable words.

I propose a movement. A movement for our children. A movement that will make the older generations impressed that millennials can attain such an awe inspiring (see what I did there) achievement. A movement to use words that express our feelings and thoughts while being creative in our diction and speech. A movement to take risks with our descriptions. Grab your dictionaries and thesauruses, open your minds, raise your voices and let’s change the world with the most compelling weapon we know – words.

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