Lately I have been hearing the word awesome used in many places. I'm trying to figure out how it is used. It has already been discussed on this site a bit. See
Wordnet says "inspiring awe or admiration or wonder" and gives a few examples:
"New York is an amazing city";
"the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight";
"the awesome complexity of the universe";
"this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath"- Melville;
"Westminster Hall's awing majesty, so vast, so high, so silent"
Merriam-Webster says "expressive of awe; inspiring of awe; terrific, extraordinary"
- Something Americans use to describe everything.
- formidable, amazing, heart-stirring, wonderful
- A 'sticking plaster' word used by Americans to cover over the huge gaps in their vocabulary. It is one the three words which make up most American sentances.
- An overused adjective intended to denote something as "cool" or "great" but instead winds up meaning "lame." This is actually a reflection of the lameness of person using the word, the degree of which is directly proportionate to difference between the user's perspective of the so-called awesome object / person / situation and that of a reasonably sober, well-informed observer.
Examples themselves are awesome:
"Bono is awesome." "This pizza is awesome" (when the pizza in question comes from a food court at the airport) Veronica Mars fans are awesome. They love the show so much they hired a plane to fly a message over Hollywood to show their support for renewal.
We can watch AwesomenessTV or read motivational calendars:
#821 When the public bathroom has paper towel instead of hand dryers
#822 When there’s still time left in the parking meter when you pull up
#823 When you find out what was making that horrible smell and get rid of it
#824 Finding the TV remote after looking forever
So, how is "awesome" being used today? In contrast to cool.
Was there anything particularly awe-inspiring about these projects? Sometimes it's serious and sometimes it's sarcastic. My guess is it has to do with being extraordinarily good or extraordinarily bad in some way.