Monday, July 2, 2012

Absolutely Fantabulously Exaggerated!!

Have you wondered how the meanings, or rather perceived meanings of many words have changed?! I have disappointed many people by telling them that they look or did  - “good”. Good does not seem to have enough goodness in it. Everything today needs to be in the superlative.  “Awesome“, “fantastic”, “stupendous” are the new “good”. Even excellent is no better than “better”.  In fact “excellent” has been ranked just a tad above “good”.  “Nice” is the new way of saying “bad” or “worse”. Someone I know ranked it even lower than a smirk. 
What is happening to the world around us, or is it just me? Why isn’t “good” – good enough? A  rhyme recited by an enthusiastic kid to the bored house guest, just has to been a dramatic – “wow! ” followed by an “amazing”!  ……… Really?! You get amazed by a kid singing a 4 line , 16 word poem? A beautiful handbag is “awe” inspiring for you(awesome!!)?  Walking on moon is not the only “stupendous” feat  achieved by mankind;  meeting a project deadline, entering the lift just as the door is about to close or buying a dress at 75% discount are all worthy of being described by the same adjective.

A smiley, representing a smile is not enough for a decent joke, it has to be commended by a “rofl” -  which is the short form of  - “Rolling on the floor laughing. ...........Really? How many times have you really laughed that way? Compare it with how many times you have typed “ROFL” in feedback to someone’s funny quip. I have witnessed the use of this acronym in a face to face conversation, but nobody was actually rolling on the floor. Although, as a witness I did have a feeling to roll on the floor moping over death of the “appropriate use of language”. If that was not all, someone felt that the current set of adjectives were not doing justice to the “beauty of nails” or the “slickness of an electronic device”, so they decided to prepend “super” to words like “awesome” that they believe are quiet mild in their meaning. So behold, we now have to hear stuff like - “super-cool”, “super-smart”, “super-amazing”. If “lucky” wasn’t able to get the point across, then “super”/”damn”-lucky” will ensure that you know about the good, er.. pardon me.. - absolutely fantastic fortune of the subject.  

I can't help wondering why meanings of words have suffered such steep inflation? Maybe we want to bridge the gap between the "actual" and "expected" realities.

So,  if you are as clueless as I am in this new world of exaggerations, here is a tip – When asked for an opinion, nod your head vigorously and precede your feedback with a long – “oooooooooooooooh”, followed by a “wow”, follow that with your (absolutely )positive opinion. If you do that, you my friend,  would have escaped an awkward social moment - unscathed! 
Isn’t that nice?! Or should I say – “Isn’t that Freaking Amazing…????!!!!!”


  1. American idiosyncrasy of having everything different - since adoption (and before that, development) of a new language or legitimate changes to existing one is, well, difficult, so an easy solution is to change the popular usage: so "my mistake" becomes "my bad", "going to" becomes "gonna", "good" become "awesome", and so on....

    (PS: I don't really care about language; its just one of those things which are overemphasized because of being ancient)

  2. really?! you think the only merit in language is that it is ancient?! What about correctly and precise communication? Can that be achieved without a language?
    Remember even using hands in a specific way to convey the same and definite meaning is termed - sign "language".

  3. And the best part (or we can say worst part) is that it is the way of newer communication and people get happy and feel delighted and blessed when they hear "Awesome" or "Damn good"... Use of such adjectives are now IN and that is the WOW factor!!!

  4. The most awesome thing about the "word inflation" is that this is not universal. In north of UK - "Not too bad" replaces good (which was a big shock for me when I first came to UK). So probably this is more of American !!

  5. Yes, this could be American influence, but it is more of a trend now, in Indian cities.