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.

84 thoughts on “Awesome!

  1. goodness, I do agree. I can not bear poor word usage. I also detest new words like “vacay” and “fam” . Just heard “adorbs” (for adorable) I suppose folks are talking like they write . . which is texting. Ugh! Best wishes! Michele

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I know exactly how you feel. For many years I kept telling people the word has a deeper meaning. It was only used in the case of being thunderstruck by something magnificent. Yet, I have loosened my rope a bit. I do use this word on occasion. One of your posts was a case in point. I still remind people of the true meaning of awesome.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I use Awesome when I’m engaged, but perhaps not fully – thus, I, too, have slid into the ‘everydayness’ of a word worn out by overuse – That said, IF I say Awesome-Blossom! it means “Kudos” – If I’m really impressed, I will truck out “Fantabulous” – (WHAT? Only OTHER folks or those who live/die by texting/emojis get to make up code/their own acronyms and words? Well, that just isn’t just and as long as it never takes off, I do not risk either getting worn out by over use – –

    But there are moments in life, where I’m humbled by what I just observed – what I just experienced – and I struggle to find a word, even ‘awe’ to fully convey what my heart & soul felt – what my mind recognized – at which time, I don’t try to find the ‘one’ word – I stumble along, using many, and finally say, “there are just times where language fails me – I can try and try to write or say it, but words, will never be enough – never; however, since I can’t paint a picture, let it never be said I didn’t take a stab at it – thus – the 2,000 word emails, posts, and social media thingees I post if the framework allows me to – – LOL

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Me thinks many of them that are easy to spell & pronounce – – but here’s my list of ‘go to words’ that rarely get worn out from overuse, both the good & the disgruntled ones: Serendipitous
        Asinine (some will accuse you of making up your own cuss words)
        Incongruency (yes, I have used that one for years, before I looked up how thinking I should spell it correctly – and was abashed to find it didn’t exist in any spelling and yes, I use it as an adjective …..LOL)
        Oblivious (some will say, “I’m a what?? what did you just call me??!? Are you saying I’m an ass?)

        LOL – that’s the initial list I thought of – I’ve had those with PhDs ask me about the words I use in everyday conversations – how did I come to use them? know them? And I, baffled, say, “Um…I read?” LOL Thought you might enjoy that window into my world of words – – that said, I’m also a fan of making up my own acronyms – – but that, is another story or is sprinkled throughout various past blog posts – sigh – and now, guess my book needs a chapter on words and acronyms, cuz obviously, I need to tell that story somewhere other than in your comments section…..LOL Thanks for your hospitality – sorry if I ‘blogged’ in your comments area…..again…..sigh…. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Which is why I continue to ‘overstay my welcome’ here and there in bloggy land – LOL – but, I am always cognizant (sp?) of Ben Franklin’s motto, “Guests, like fish, stink after 3 days’ – – 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely right…some words have lost their relevance and are used casually. Like, a genius or hero is now referred to anyone who does your work.
    We have to keep updating our vocabulary 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As a teacher, I was always learning new slang from my students. Americans are famous for taking an ordinary word, turning it around, and creating a meaning just the opposite. In other words, when kids tell you that something is “sick,” that is a sign of respect for said item.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well, I think I’m starting to get old I guess. English not even being my native language I even use the word awesome at work sometimes haha😂😂 Guess you are right, we need a new word. If I come up with any new ideas, I will let you know😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are considerably younger than me, Susanne, so i think you are beyond ‘saving’. 🙂 🙂
      The next time you say it about a dinner, please try to remember what it used to mean.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nah, I don’t use it habitually, I only meant it’s out there now and so ubiquitous (I like that word) that it’s probably too late to recover. But I’ll go ahead and let you think I’m considerably younger than you – why not? 😉 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  7. i agree with you, Pete. the word “awe” is very special and used with such high regard. here in my part of the world, the word ‘awesome, is used very casually. commonly used to end a conversation.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I prefer to steer clear of ‘americanisms’ like awesome. If I pick up a book these days things like that prevent me from reading any further, no matter whether or not the story is a good one…

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’m sure the local newspapers printed something like “the awesome power of the atomic bomb” when covering the nuclear testing here in Nevada.

    “During the 1950s, the mushroom clouds, from the 100 atmospheric tests, could be seen from almost 100 mi (160 km) away. The city of Las Vegas experienced noticeable seismic effects, and the mushroom clouds, which could be seen from the downtown hotels, became tourist attractions.” (Wikipedia)

    Desert View Overlook is less than an hour’s drive from home. I frequently stop there when hiking in the Mt. Charleston area.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I agree, that word is completely worn out here in the states. Years ago, they substituted “okay” with “cool” I hated that. Sometimes I think it won’t be long, until we slide back to the 70s and the street slang. If you remember the scene from “Airplane”

    “Cut me some slack Jack”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Ron. The correct usage of so many words is changing at a fast-accelerating rate. Luckily, I won’t live long enough to get to the stage where I no longer understand English.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I guess when we are young everything seems more intense and unique, but it’s problem when it becomes adopted by everyone of all ages. I never know if it’s a sign of imagination or of lack of it. I feel inclined towards the second option… Have a (I won’t use that word) good week, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet comes with an electronic dictionary. Every single day, it advises me that it has ‘updated’. If it was on paper, I doubt I could lift it. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, Pete, I am with you to the nth degree (I just threw that in because it’s another one of those “expressions”). I understand that language evolves (and, obviously, devolves), but I wish that in the US there were more respect for the really beautiful, fascinating aspects of it. But just because we are all collections of contradictions, there are many British colloquialisms that I’ve come to love, mostly learned from the “telly”. “Bloody hell” comes to mind.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Humorous post. Awesome! doesn’t bother me, but I write and speak informally–for the most part. And I grew up with the expression. We used it a lot in the 80s, way back when I was a teenager. One word thrown around by my 29 year old and 22 year old daughters, that gets on my nerves, is salty, as in “What’s the matter with you? You’re being awfully salty this morning.” And then there’s the usage of awfully…

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  14. You ponder words as I do, Pete. I had my limit when I heard the term ‘awesome sauce’. Awe is such a special word. I remember being in awe at the first sight of my grandchildren. I am in awe when I see the Blue Ridge mountains sprawled across the landscape in front of me. Awesome is not the word I would use to describe the power of an atomic bomb — my word would require a sense of forboding.

    Liked by 4 people

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