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The English language is constantly evolving, both the words we use and the rules that control the usage of those words.  Therefore, it is impossible to ever have a definitive grammar guide, or, if you will, a Complete Guide of American English.  And that’s our excuse.

 

 

Word of the Every So Often

October 16, 2018 

beldame:  (noun)  an old woman, especially an ugly one; a witch.  This year for Halloween, I'm going to dress up like a beldame.

 

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Awesome!

Did you see that car Larry bought?  It’s awesome!  The upholstery is amazing!

Really?  I mean, it’s just a Chevy.  And the upholstery is just plastic.  How can either of those be awesome or amazing?  Unless, of course, you have an awfully low threshold of “amazing” and “awesome,” or you have a rather pathetic vocabulary.

The births of my children were awe inspiring.  They were events that were so profound, they changed the way I looked at the world.  They were truly awesome.  When compared with that, saying that it is awesome when you get extra French fries just doesn’t seem right.  Seeing a flying saucer land in the mall’s parking lot would be amazing.  Getting a good parking spot... not so much.

To use absolute terms in trivial ways weakens the language.  It’s why “awesome” and “amazing” really don’t mean anything anymore.  Because of that, if something is truly awe-inspiring, unless you want it to seem mundane, then you really can’t say “awesome.”  Ditto with “amazing.” 

And while we’re at it, consider the words “love” and “hate.”  You really don’t want to overuse those, either.  Sure, you love your family, and maybe the cat.  But do you really love that dress?  Do you really hate those shoes?  And if you do, do you hate them as much as, say, child molesters?

4:14 pm pdt 


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