Language Usage: “Awesome” -and thensome……

Certainly, to have ‘awesomeness’ in our lives is indeed awesome. (Yes, I could have written “to have ‘awesomeness’ in our lives is, well, awesome. Let us call this construct The Pre-Acknowledgment Apology, in which we acknowledge our own laziness in writing –our refusal to pursue the ‘mot juste’– before the reader can groan.
Have you noticed how much that construct pops up on NPR? NPR may be the default ‘station’ –after all, what else can somebody with half a brain listen to in the New York area?
(Actually, I find myself exploring that question more and more these days. There is nothing else to rival them, but –my God, the onset of Cute, Smug, & Lazy!)
But that’s another story.)

I’m writing this little “awesome” piece because I have just encountered two “awesomes” in successive e-mails from friends who really should know better. Friends who aspire to more creative expression; friends who seem, more or less, to mix the individually and unconsciously creative with plainspeak, in which information is conveyed rather than standup comedy.

Should we have an “awesome” pledge? –an “I promise to refrain from…” oath? I oppose such measures –“gotcha” measures. I have better things to do with my friends.

From time to time I have tried to raise the issue by using my own invention “awesome and thensome”. Often it just floats by in the conversational ether. But sometimes I am rewarded: the other day a friend who had just had a momentary lapse picked up on my A&T interjection and gave me a that little laugh that acknowledged my effort on her behalf.

Let us be Awesome. And Thensome. And throw in Win-some if you like. (But, please, don’t follow Win-some with Lose-some. I think that’s just a little too cute. Don’t you think?)


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