Thursday, July 26, 2012

You say amazing...

Thank you for reading this post. As a token of my appreciation, I promise not to repeat the adjective in the title.

Indeed, I intend to give it a much-needed break, since arguably, it is the single hardest working vocable in today's standard American idiom. The standard American idiom I refer to is of course the yet vibrant vulgate we standard American idiots speak. And for some time now within that ever-morphing lingo we have been putting the three-syllable qualifier in question to work for us whenever we seek to express our, well, amazement at how amazing something is. Sorry. Eschewing the word is harder than I thought.

That word is repeatedly exclaimed, gushed, squealed with delight, confided with assurance and just plain uttered all around us at every turn due to, I suppose, either a dearth of imagination — a widely observed phenomenon in the pop culture — or a surfeit of mimesis, likewise evident in our everyday passion play.

The word has proved incredibly versatile, fitting in everywhere from celebrity interviews to middle school classrooms and every place in between. Once merely an ironic qualifier for a chronically swooning New York major league baseball team, that "logos" has mushroomed to contaminate almost every tile in the mosaic of Americana. An expression so beloved, it has effectively squeezed out other perfectly adequate qualifiers, including that Hippy era coinage in mid-renaissance, "far out," as well as a more recent flavor of the month "awesome." Nor had the overuse of either ever reached such epic proportions.

Why can't we leave that word to a certain web-slinging superhero and move on to the next cool slang? Whatever it may be. The problem must be that no one is sure what to replace it with, while being stuck on that trite adjective prevents any ad hoc beta testing of the next best thing. Meanwhile, the Internet contributes an website and we are bombarded acoustically by any number of so-titled songs recorded by everyone from Aerosmith to LL Cool J and Kanye West, and that's not to mention the Christian hymn that has often brought tears to the eyes of a wretch like me. How much more of this can we as a voluble nation take?

I can only implore my fellow speakers of Americanese to abandon amazing (oops) with astonishing alacrity, especially the particularly annoying usage where the word's second syllable is awarded undue stress.

It is possible that by expunging that tedious term from our active vocabulary we shall do nothing less than herald a new era of communication among English talkers.

... I say "Excelsior."

No comments:

Post a Comment