OED is updated four times a year (March, June, September and December) – revised versions of existing entries and new words. In anticipation of the update, I researched some of the new possibilities like “beardtastic” (adjective): having perfect facial hair. An existing word that I believe needs to be revised – “awesome.”
awe•some ‘ôsəm/ (adjective) extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear. Synonyms: breathtaking, awe-inspiring, magnificent, wonderful, amazing, stunning. “The band is truly awesome.”
To me, the use of the word awesome gained extreme prominence in 2016 and has evolved into one of the most over used words in America. Awesome is used to describe just about everything. Awesome now appears to be the norm! Chef Ming Tsai (Simply Ming) uses the word all the time. “Chef, your sesame noodle dish topped with uni is awesome.” NBA players dunk all the time. Dunks are no longer awesome. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte was introduced thirteen years ago; at first it was awesome, but now we expect Starbucks to introduce a new seasonal beverage every year.
The new definition of awesome? Something that is good, satisfactory, acceptable approved. “Girl, you look awesome in your new distressed jeans and black North Face jacket.”
Have an awesome holiday season!
While I agree the word “awesome” is vastly overused, I submit that its alliterative cousin “amazing” exceeds it.