THE FLIPSIDE: Click Here For An ‘Amazing’ Story!

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It would be amazing if people would stop saying that everything is amazing.
It would be amazing if people would stop saying that everything is amazing.

I’m persuaded we need to come up with some more “amazing” descriptive adjectives. As I glance at various newsfeeds during the course of my week, I’ve noticed more and more news outlets utilizing the same big adjectives to get our attention, hoping we’ll click on — and perhaps even read — the content they have on display. The basic template (with some variables) goes a bit like this:

The Intro: Take a look / Check out / Click on / Read about this / You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t learn about …

Insert Amazing Adjective: amazing, awesome, breathtaking, incredible, mind-boggling, shocking, unbelievable …

Insert Subject: inspiring person (or people) / evil and scary people / dumb people (fails) / cool new tech and science / weird or funny video / inspiring pets …

So, if you want to build an attention-getting headline, it could look like this: “You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t check out this amazing Tibetan monk and his incredible three-legged cat sing their rendition of The White Stripes’ hit “Seven Nation Army” or something like that. All right, that tag went a little long, but you get the general idea.

Problem is, every time I see “amazing, incredible, shocking” or similar adjectives directing me toward “amazing” content these days, I tend to ignore it.

“Amazing” and all of its cousins have been done to death. If a dog startled by its own fart and an 80-year-old blind man finishing a marathon in record time are both “amazing” events, I just don’t have much of a feel (or respect) for the word anymore.

So, whoever is responsible for adjectives in the English language (do they meet in a cabal somewhere?) needs to come up with an entire new batch of attention-grabbing adjectives. If they’re in a hurry, or short on ideas, they could mix and match some of the old ones until inspirations hits. How about: awcredible, breathstunning, mind-staggering, spectawesome or remarkomenal?

Well, it might take a little more work than that. Regardless, I think we need a few more subs for some our most overworked adjectives. They deserve a breather on the linguistic sidelines for a while. And when they do finally head back into the grammar game, we might actually be excited to see them for a change. That really would be amazing.

Carl Pettit is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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