Removal from the Lexicon
A couple of years ago, I attended a conference in Arizona for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and when I met up with my School and Youth Coordinator I asked her how things had been going. Candidly, she told me that if she heard the words "Amazing" or "Awesome" one more time, she was going to hurl. I laughed with her and then told her she was amazing. Good times...
During a swim at my mom's pool a while back, I was chatting with one of my sister's friends and noticed midway through the conversation that many things in her world were amazing.
At the end of the school year, I heard NPR do a piece on graduation speeches. In one of the speeches, the key note speaker pleaded with today's graduates to remove the words "actually" and "amazing" from their vocabularies and help the future by doing so.
So, I started to pay attention. In my day to day, I probably hear the word "amazing" 10 - 15 times. During the first day of school (for the teachers), I kept a tally of how many times the term "amazing" was used. It had been used by my various administrators 27 times before we were let out of our morning meetings.
Now I'm removing it from my lexicon. I've been working on it for a while now, to be honest. I think when a word is overused like this it loses its meaning. Dictionary.com defines amazing as such:
a·maz·ing /əˈmeɪzɪŋ/ Pronunciation Key [uh-mey-zing] – adjective - causing great surprise or sudden wonder.
I believe the whole idea of surprise and sudden wonder is gone from the definition. I am not an amazing teacher, rarely do I surprise my students. I am not doing amazing things with my department, in fact, I sincerely doubt I've caused any of them sudden wonder.
And so, I'll not be using the term any longer. Not unless I've been absolutely stunned or caused to ponder something at great length will I refer to something or someone as amazing. Instead, I'll try to figure out a different term to describe the situation instead of being lazy and saying things are amazing.
Oh god, and don't get me started on people saying something is truly amazing...I've already discussed my issue with that term...