I am aware that language has to change. Even in my own lifetime I have seen many new words become common parlance. Then there are the words derived from advances in technology, like ‘Texting’, ‘Online’, and many more. Young people have invented abbreviations like ‘LOL’, and ‘LMAO’, and they have also started to become acceptable to many people, even outside of text messaging.
Some of those new words have come from America. A ‘Diner’ was once unknown here outside of old films, but it is no longer unusual to see a roadside eating establishment with that name. There are many similar examples, but you don’t need me to list all of them here.
There is one word that I wished had not changed though. It is a very old word, and one with a serious meaning. Here is a dictionary definition of that word.
a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.
“they gazed in awe at the small mountain of diamonds”
The most common way this is seen to be expressed now is in the use of the word, ‘Awesome’.
Notice the additon at the end of the definition, under INFORMAL.
extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe.
“the awesome power of the atomic bomb”
extremely good; excellent.
“the band is truly awesome!”
A word once used to descibe the power of imaginary gods, or witnessing the unbelievable sight of an atomic bomb exploding, is now in everyday use, especially in America. Used to describe everything from an ice cream or a nice new T-shirt, to a pop group. It also turns up in casual conversations, like this example.
“Hey, can you pick me up around four?”
“Yeah, no problem”.
We are going to need a new word.