The words you use matter. Precise language is imperative to accurate communication. Many people think that distinguishing one word from another, when the meanings are similar, is just semantics and the user (or corrector) is being petty or too picky. I would disagree. Let’s compare just a few words that have been watered down due to over (and mis) use.
Good, Great, Awesome and Amazing
Good– (just the adjective)–to be desired or approved of.
Great– of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average.
Amazing–causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing.
These words tend to be overused and certainly misused. There is a distinct difference in good and great. One is approved of. The other is considerably above average. You can surmise that great includes, and then surpasses, good. Would you rather be good at something or great at something? We should not water down the meaning of great by overusing it (I am guilty here).
Awesome means that it creates awe. Awe is essentially dumbstruck. Extreme is the operative word here. Very few things are truly awesome. My favorite (or perhaps least favorite) on this list is amazing. This word gets used WAY too much. How many things (based on the definition) are actually amazing? How many things cause great surprise or wonder? Are astonishing? Not that many. Unless you are a baby or are stoned. Realtors are notorious repeat offenders regarding this word. Every back yard is amazing. Every kitchen is amazing. Every good location is amazing. But they aren’t. Now the word “amazing” is completely, amazingly, watered down.
What other words have we ruined? I’d love to hear your opinions.
Our next Pitch Practice and Networking event is happening on Monday, August 7th, from 6-8 PM, at Cedar Glade Brews, located at 906 Ridgely Rd in Murfreesboro. On top of the opportunity to hear Thom Coats teach us about elevator pitches, you will be able to have a special event priced headshot taken by THE Amanda Barrett. Join us!