Seattle Space Needle Reflection at Night

Amazing Must Die

Not Amazing

Wicked, cool, dope, fresh, bad, hittin’ and stickin’ like Popeye’s Chicken … when I was growing up, there were 1,000 different ways to refer to something as “very good”.

That was then, this is now.

America is no longer a creative place on any level. The current generation is completely void of any originality, and no, hipsterism does not count as creativity (nostalgia is not a new concept).

Today’s USA is one long bandwagon of sameness, and for proof of this, I invite you to stop by any coffee shop in America and look at the people pecking away at their MacBooks. Same clothes, same music, same messed up hair, same computer … and most of all … same words. In particular, one word.

Amazing.

Jesus H. Christopher Christ with a side of rice, I swear I heard this word over 100 times yesterday alone.

How was lunch?
It was amazing.

The new band you just discovered?
Amazing.

iPhone on Verizon?
Amazing.

Your last vacation?
Amazing.

Briefly describe your mother?
An amazing woman.

Your kids?
They’re amazing too.

The malformed turd you dropped in the bowl this morning?
Why, it was amazing, of course.

Everything out of everyone’s mouth these days just sounds so insincere. Fake. Phony.

We’ve become a culture so beaten over the head with marketing and advertising that we are now starting to speak like the commercials themselves.

I cannot pinpoint when the “amazing” fad started, but I do know that the whole thing has gotten to a point of absurdity. The word no longer has any meaning. None at all.

I turned on the TV yesterday morning, and one of the newsbimbos was talking about the Seahawk’s “amazing season”. Let’s see, out of the 18 games they played, they won 8 and lost 10. They won one playoff game and lost the other. Pretty typical and ordinary stuff. Sure, they made the playoffs with a lame record, but was this really “amazing”?

amazing
adjective
causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing

Nope, unless you are the most superficial and insincere person on the planet, it just doesn’t fit.

As a matter of fact, 99.999% of the uses of the word “amazing” do not fit … unless you are a fetus. Given their point of comparison (the womb), newborn babies are amazed by everything in their first few months of life.

And with that last sentence, I feel that I may be on to something.

If you look at the people who over-use the word ‘amazing’, they tend to have three things in common. Overwhelmingly the word-users tend to be:

1) White
2) Suburban
3) Have a desire to sound worldly and non-suburban

As such, one could make the argument for the sociological equivalence of the womb and the suburbs. It’s a barrier within which one is protected, and upon ones release from said barrier, they are bombarded with sights and sounds that literally overwhelm their senses. In essence, they are “amazed” by damn near everything.

If you think about it, my theory makes sense. Perhaps the word is not overused. Perhaps the people who use it really are sincerely overwhelmed by everything not commonly found in a strip mall. I think the rise of gated communities and planned communities have resulted in a large swath of sheltered honkies who, upon turning 18 and leaving home, react to their surroundings as would an infant making his first appearance into the “real world”.

Instead of constantly complaining about them, I should probably make a greater effort to help my Caucasian brothers and sisters assimilate into the aforementioned real world.

And so I will.

For all of you folks out there who are easily amused and find absolutely anything and everything to be ‘amazing’, please allow me to give you some synonyms:

amazing
adjective
the interactive exhibit at the planetarium was truly amazing: astonishing, astounding, surprising, stunning, staggering, shocking, startling, stupefying, breathtaking; awesome, awe-inspiring, sensational, remarkable, spectacular, stupendous, phenomenal, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable; informal mind-blowing, jaw-dropping; literary wondrous.

If you use these words in place of ‘amazing’, not only will you still get your point across, but you will separate yourself from every other suburban drone who has whittled their vocabulary down to a single word.

Or, you can just be honest.

You can say that lunch was “alright, I don’t suppose you can mess up a hamburger”.

You can say that the iPhone is “acceptable for my tasks”.

You can say that your last vacation was “generally enjoyable. I was just relieved to get away from work for awhile”.

If you cannot, however, resist the urge to speak like goddamn Liberace; If you have to live your life like an infomercial; If you just have to be the most insincere person in the conversation, then please … use a word from the list of synonyms above.

Amazing has lived out its useful life, and it’s time for it to die an astonishing death.

Thank you.

18 comments to Amazing Must Die

  • FALSE POSITIVES

    False Positives
    The world is full of them
    Awesome! Excellent! Perfect! (Amazing)
    The problem with false positives is that, eventually,
    They become true negatives
    (COOLEY)

  • John Adam

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P55TPBxk4mU You might appreciate this. A short sketch I found about the overuse of the word ‘amazing’

  • Mc

    Another word used WAY too frequently: horrific
    (horribly terrific?)
    Never heard the word before 9/11, the media tossed it around like a beach ball, and now the idiots that use use the word “amazing” have something to describe the opposite end of their spectrum.

  • mad dog

    Rex, that post was
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    not bad.

  • Ross

    I was about to vent my frustrations at the people that use “literally” to mean figuratively. But then I went to dictionary.com and found this under the usage note:

    “Since the early 20th century, literally has been widely used as an intensifier meaning “in effect, virtually,” a sense that contradicts the earlier meaning “actually, without exaggeration”: The senator was literally buried alive in the Iowa primaries. The parties were literally trading horses in an effort to reach a compromise. The use is often criticized; nevertheless, it appears in all but the most carefully edited writing. Although this use of literally irritates some, it probably neither distorts nor enhances the intended meaning of the sentences in which it occurs. The same might often be said of the use of literally in its earlier sense “actually”: The garrison was literally wiped out: no one survived.”

    I guess I stand corrected.

  • Not a Hater

    Rex, Las Vegas is AMAZING, at least according to the 23 reasons in this Op-Ed in the LVRJ. This might require a point-by-point rebuttal…

    http://www.righthavensucks.com/opinion/southern-nevada-has-much-to-offer-despite-downturn-114443759.html

  • Shamu

    Time to research the definition of “cliche” folks.

    Rex, you could have simply written “cliche” and many of us would have understood. It’s all those amazing people that never will, I suppose.

  • Ace

    In my neck of the woods, the superlatives are EPIC and the even more irritating ICONIC.

  • keith

    “I invite you to stop by any coffee shop in America and look at the people pecking away at their MacBooks. ”

    personally i have no desire to ever own a macbook, but then again, how many other manufacturers of laptops are there? maybe 7 or 8? And how many of them are worth buying? 2? maybe 3?

  • Disco Stu

    I second the motion of the member from Washington. Another word to restrict is “hilarious”. Really? It was hilarious? That’s pretty high praise. Doesn’t leave you more room to increase your praise. Watch those adjectives, people.

  • AaronC

    amazing
    adjective
    causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing

    Actually, getting into the playoffs with a loosing record is pretty amazing, I think it’s the first time in NFL History that it has happened. Then to go on and beat the defending Super Bowl Champs in week one, well, I was pissed (I’m a Saints Fan.)

    • Seattle Rex Seattle Rex

      Actually, getting into the playoffs with a loosing record is pretty amazing

      I think you are getting the words “unusual” and “amazing” confused with one another. They are not the same.

      Space travel is amazing. Making it to the playoffs in a private sports league because of silly division gerrymandering is not amazing even by the most generous definition of the word. It’s odd, and perhaps even surprising, but amazing? I do not think so.

      I think it’s the first time in NFL History that it has happened

      On Thursday, for the first time ever, my neighbor got a footlong BLT from Subway. I was not amazed. The first occurrence of any given event is not “amazing”. It’s simply the first occurrence of that event.

      Then to go on and beat the defending Super Bowl Champs in week one, well, I was pissed (I’m a Saints Fan.)

      I understand the excitement and uniqueness of the Seahawk’s season, but underdogs winning games is nothing new. Neither is favorites losing games. It’s the entire premise of that “any given Sunday” cliche.

  • philip

    I remember the first time I heard “awesome”. Then I found out she was talking about a balogna & cheese sandwich.

  • wbeem

    Soon to replaced with “inspiring.”

  • bob barton

    That was amazing, Rex

  • chuckreis

    In before someone refers to this post as “amazing”.

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