The award goes to…

Last night’s Academy Awards  can be summed up in one word: “amazing.”

I’m not talking about the production or the fashions or the performances. I’m talking about the word I’m voting most overused.

Heard on the red carpet:

“This is an amazing night.”
“You have an amazing figure.”
“We’re going to have an amazing time.”
“It’s great to be in the company of these amazing actors.”
“Just look at all these amazing people.”
“You look amazing.”
“Your earrings are amazing.”

I’ve noticed this adjective with an appropriately limited definition has gone epidemic (so has “viral;” that’s why I say “epidemic.”). But if there were any doubt, all anyone would have to do to confirm the diagnosis is watch the Oscars.

The awards program itself was sprinkled with “amazing.” Admittedly, I’d find just being in the Kodak Theatre on such an occasion amazing. So I’ll cut some slack to those who say it feels amazing to be up on that stage to receive a statue.

My point is, let’s save “amazing” for the truly amazing, as we’ve talked about doing with other overused adjectives. Not for earrings.

This morning’s online headlines illustrate this point.

“Jennifer Hudson is amazing in orange at the Oscars”
Oscars: Amazing gowns offer red-carpet options”
Oscars Best Dressed! Check out the Amazing Academy Awards (this one also notes how amazing Celine Dion looks post-twins.)

I even found a recipe for “Amazing Academy Award-winning Appetizers.” How amazing can a pig in a blanket be, unless perhaps it involves a live pig?

Even the JCPenney commercials played along last night: “We make it affordable; you make it amazing.”

Amazing.

8 Comments

Filed under All Things Wordish, Beauty and Fashion, Marketing/Advertising/PR, Movies, Television and Radio, Rants and Raves

8 responses to “The award goes to…

  1. Marty

    Better “amazing” than “absolutely”

  2. wade@vol.com

    Sounds like “amazing” may be giving some competition to “awesome”.

  3. How awful! The dreaded three A’s! Actually, let’s add “actually” to the list.

    • “Absolutely” and “actually” are adverbs and may deserve their own “overused” post. “Amazing” belongs with “awesome” in the adjectives column. I know a certain little boy who uses “apparently” a lot and I just love it when he does.

  4. Deirdre

    Actually, what I find absolutely amazing is the unbelievable overuse of the adjective incredible. What I find most interesting; however, and what I would like Ms. Nymph to consider, is the purpose of the individuals who pepper their speech with adjectives that suggest such non-belief about that which they are describing. Is it simply a joie de vivre? Or, is it a limited vocabulary?

    • I’m not sure you followed the link to my post dealing with ‘incredible,” https://wordnymph.com/2010/08/31/thats-incredible/, but I think it’s both, over-enthusiasm and limited vocab. I’m as guilty as any and, once a habit sets in, it’s hard to break. And Wade is right, “amazing” is the new “awesome.” All one needs to do to see that is become Facebook friends with a teenager, though teens are not the only offenders, as shown by last night’s Oscars.

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