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Whatever Happened to ‘Awesome’? — by Andy Scheer

I miss what that word used to mean.IMG_9177 adj

I paid the guy at the garage sale for a picture frame.

“Awesome,” he said.

I bit my tongue. Yes, the 8×10 picture frame was still shrink-wrapped. But the most generous adjective I’d give it was nice.

I’m old enough to remember when awesome was rare. Few things truly inspire awe. Goosebumps don’t come often. But when they did, awesome was a useful word.

Like the morning, on a trip to Israel, I awoke before dawn and trekked to a vantage point on the Mount of Olives and watched the sun begin to shine on the ancient Temple Mount. Awesome.

Or the first time our family drove to the Grand Canyon and walked toward the edge. Awesome.

In my decades, I’ve had few such moments. But if I ever have another, I fear I’ll no longer have a word for the experience. I’d hate to compare a goosebumps moment to a one-dollar picture frame.

1 Comment

  1. diana says:

    I agree with you Andy. ‘Phenomenal’ is another word that has taken a common place usage. I try hard not to over dramatize my words. My family and friends know if I really like something, I will express it by using the word, ‘cool’. If something elicits the word ‘awesome’ from me, well that is something pretty spectacular. But back in the ‘day’, I was guilty as well. Perhaps it is an age thing? Groovy post, Andy. 🙂

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