Amazing: overwhelming surprise or astonishment.
For a year or two and probably longer, I’ve heard people over-using and improperly using that word. It has become a handle for almost any situation imaginable. In fact, it’s so overused that if you hear someone around you say, “That’s amazing,” and then hear the very same phrase on the radio or television within seconds, it’s probably not amazing or a synchronicity. It’s just more over-use of the word.
While I was aware that “amazing” was trending in our vocabulary, blowing away “awesome,” it really came into focus for me one day when I was playing disc (Frisbee) golf. I happened to find someone’s lost disc, turned it over and saw a phone number and the name Alex. I texted Alex, telling him what I found and where I found it. A minute later, I got a text back. “You’re amazing.” Gee, I don’t even know this guy and he says I’m amazing. So you would think that he really liked that disc and was very excited about getting it back. Not at all. He went on to say, keep it. He didn’t care about the disc. So maybe he thought I was amazing for taking the effort d to text him. Whatever. (Oops! Another over-used term.)
So after that, I started noticing that the word, more and more frequently, referred to things that definitely were not amazing. “This salad is amazing;” “Your eyebrows look amazing;” “The lighting for this selfie is amazing.”
Those examples were how an article about “amazing” began in the New York Daily News recently. It was headlined: Why celebrities and millennials should stop using the word ‘amazing.’ The writer not only noted that ‘amazing’ at some point replaced awesome, but that long ago in the Sixties before the Millennials were born all things were ‘groovy.’ The article reports that there are curmudgeons among us who write on a blog dedicated solely to complaining about the overuse of the word. The writer ends her piece by saying we should go back to the basics. “The truth is, we should reserve amazing for truly astounding moments. That would be groovy, awesome and amazing.”
Back in the day, as in 1779, when amazing was really amazing, John Newton wrote Amazing Grace, a hymn that was truly amazing.
Finally, no sooner had I stopped reading the Daily News article when I got a group e-mail from an on-line friend, Brandon, who was promoting an acquaintance’s website. He wrote: “Her Native American artistry grows more amazing to me each time I go to her website to see what her latest creations. Take a look for yourself. I did. It’s actually a blog. https://angelaswedberg.blogspot.com/
Her work does seem quite unique, and yes, maybe amazing. Brandon, by the way, is about fifty years older than the millennials, and probably has a good idea when something is really amazing.