Today I continue the countdown to Rio with a little note of encouragement to our athletes. I am looking forward to a lot of awesome performances and awesome moments from our awesome athletes. I chose some red dots and red ribbon to match my note card because the colours are awesome.
You got to hand it to the word awesome. You hear it a lot. The dictionary definition of awesome defines it as…. extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe. For synonyms we have breathtaking, amazing, stunning, astounding, awe – inspiring, stupendous, staggering, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable, magnificent, sublime, mind blowing or how about amazeballs? Surely all descriptors of Olympic moments.
Yes – I know the word awesome can be a bit overdone. Well a lot overdone. And there are signs of an awesome backlash. UrbanDictionary defines awesome as “Something Americans use to describe everything”. Not sure how that will sit with my American friends.
Tim Askew, in his article in Inc Magazine titled “Why You Need to Stop Saying Awesome” is not an awesome fan (though he well may be an enthusiastic fan of other things). He says “when something describes everything, it describes nothing.”. He goes onto say:
So, the use of awesome as a default word for just about everything is a killer of business accuracy and clarity. It bespeaks imprecision, inaccuracy, comfort with noncommunication, and impoverishment of imagination. “Awesome” is not cool. It is not outrÃ©. It is not out-of-the-box. It is mindless, shallow, slothful, ersatz, and, ultimately, disrespectful of anyone you are speaking to.