I Hate the Word “Awesome” and Don’t Even Get Me Started on “Literally”

 

I f#cking hate the word awesome.

And “literally”? Don’t get me f#cking started.

I promise you, “it” is not awesome. Whatever “it” is, It’s not. Unless you are gazing at the Grand Canyon, the Aurora Borealis or Donald Trump’s hair on a windy day, it might be great, cool, excellent, very wow…

… but it is not awesome.

Using the “a” word  makes you sound like Crush, the surfer dude turtle from Finding Nemo; you can picture Crush holding in the pot smoke while squeaking out the word “awesome” to any of the following questions: 

  • How are you?
  • How was your weekend?
  • How was your father’s funeral? (Ok, so maybe the turtle would say, “Bogus” instead. But “bogus” is just the flip side of “awesome.”)

Please understand there are two kinds of people in the world:

I am a crust-eater myself who likes to hang with non crust-eaters because then I can eat theirs.

Ok, we are getting off track.

Let’s try this again. There are two kinds of people in the world: people who use the word “awesome” and those who refuse to. And our numbers seem to dwindling day by day.

I know very smart people — writers!! business types!! school principals!! — who throw around the word “awesome” like pepperoni on pizza. (I really like pizza.)

Do you know when this piece of crap expression got started? Jeff Spicoli, Sean Penn’s character in the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

In fact, it was this stoner character, this happy-go-lucky slacker wearing Van sneakers (ok, “trainers”) that inspired teens to check out the film and made the movie a huge rental hit even though it bombed at the cinema.

LOOK HOW STUPID HIS FACE LOOKS. That’s how YOUR face looks when you say the “a” word. Really. Stop. Just stop.

It makes me want to rock my head in my hands and cry inside. Or do this:

I am not alone in the crusade against this horror.

(Marlon woulda been with me on this. He would never have said, “I coulda been an AWESOME contender.” Never.)

Back in 2012, John Tottenham a British poet who lives in Los Angles launched a campaign to stamp out the word awesome. He even created posters and bumper stickers for his movement. He once told the Los Angeles Times that hearing that word is like ‘waving a crucifix in a vampire’s face’. I couldn’t agree more.

Gripes: Poet John Tottenham, originally from England but living in Los Angeles, has taken offence at the overuse of the word 'awesome' and has started a campaign to ban it

He has since moved on to a procrastination project (“The Inertia Variations”) but I feel proud to stand on his shoulders.

And there are others. Type in “the f#cking overuse of the word awesome” and you will get lots of results. So we do have our heroes but we are a fighting a sea of lazy word users. 

I would like to offer an alternative: “staggering.” Try it.

  • How are you? Staggering.
  • How was your weekend? Staggering.
  • How was your father’s funeral? Staggering. (Works better than even “bogus.”)

Staggering. Just try it. Humor me. Oops, I mean, humour me. And take the poll.

 

 

 

 

Piccadilly is Such a Cute British Word. (Question: Does it actually mean something?) (Answer: Yes.)

picc Cannabis-Shakespeare2

“High” collars, innit?

 

Piccadilly Circus. We’ve all heard of it — the London (much smaller) version of Times Square. But where does the word “piccadilly” come from?

When I was an English teacher in Rome, it was all about eliciting the answer from the student. So I’ll try to elicit the answer from you.

Is it:

  1. A stiff collar
  2. A small armadillo that “pecks”, called a peccadillo
  3. Someone who “picks” their nose
  4. A sort of cake or turnover
  5. A “peaked” hill (geography term)

 

Ok, here’s ANOTHER hint:

piccadill

 

Still think (or hope) it’s someone who picks their nose? OK, final hint:

picc with word in it

 

Yes, it’s one of those ruffled collars that were so impractical as to be indicative of class. Wearing one meant that you didn’t work with your hands (imagine trying to load up a ship with one of those things on! Or just pick up a box! Or even just have soup!). It also meant that you had servants to do all sorts of things including washing and starching these frilly chokers. Maintaining them was a lot of work; hundreds (hundreds!) of pins were needed for the ruff’s elaborate pattern. It’s fair to say then that wearing one also indicated that you “generally had more money than sense.”

There was a merchant named Robert Baker who in the 1600s made lots and lots and lots of money on this medieval fashion statement and so when he built a very ostentatious house, it was derisively nicknamed “Piccadilly.” Thus the street and circus were named.

Maybe one day, there’ll be a High-Heel Lane or Ripped Jeans Corner or I’m-With-Stupid-Teeshirt Avenue. Maybe even Piazza Socks with Crocs.

picc sub-buzz-18059-1495140757-19

 

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