The overuse of awesome in speech is a common occurrence. It is not an error, per se, but an overuse to the point that the word has become meaningless. Awesome is a perfectly fine word for describing something that inspires awe: a beautiful sunset, a majestic mountain scene, the Grand Canyon. Awesome is mostly used, however, is in response to ordinary, everyday, mundane interactions. Consider this exchange I had with a store cashier:

Cashier: “Would you like your receipt in the bag?”

Me: “That will be fine.”

Cashier: “Awesome!”

There is nothing the slightest bit awesome about agreeing to have the receipt placed in the bag with my merchandise. I think my response was rather typical.

What is an alternative response to “Awesome”? In many cases, a simple “OK” or “Thank you” will suffice. Even a response of “Good,” though also common, is a more appropriate response.

Let’s reserve the word awesome for things that are truly awesome.

If everything is awesome, then nothing is awesome.

Posted in Word Choice.

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