I’m sorry but I get a chalk-on-the-blackboard feeling whenever someone uses the word “amazing”. It used to be a semi-legit, non-abrasive term, but over the last decade or so it’s been used and abused and over-used by too many showbiz phonies and wannabes. Especially by actors, producers and directors when they appear on talk shows and podcasts. Especially actors. “Such an amazing experience”…an amazing performer…an amazing film.”
I’m hating “amazing” so much that I’m starting to irrationally flash hostile vibes at people who say it. I don’t hate it as much as people who throw their heads back and laugh loudly in restaurants and bars, but it’s getting up there.
I also hate hearing the words “awesome”, “incredible”, “unbelievable” and “marvelous” (the latter being an elderly person’s word for the most part).
I guess what I’m really saying is that I happen to be at a place in my life in which sycophants who routinely drop to their knees and breathlessly gush over the ecstatic wonder, drop-dead genius and rapturous super-glow of certain people they know and movies and plays they’ve seen and books they’ve read and exotic places they’ve visited…my tolerance for this kind of exuberance is getting lower and lower.
The pornography of praise is something we’re stuck with, of course, especially if you’re hanging with teens and 20somethings, but people need to use alternatives. Next time you feel the urge, go with “startling”, “crazy-good”, “meltdownish”, “throttling”, “mesmerizing”, “totally outside the box”, “bracingly different”, “a singular talent”, “fiercely original”, “exceptional”, “next-level good”, “transportational”, “levitational,” “brilliant”, “expert”, “stunning”, “genius brushstrokes”, etc. But don’t use the word “genius” alone. That’s another baddie.
Just avoid the Terrible Five for starters — amazing, awesome, incredible, unbelievable and, even on an ironic Billy Crystal basis, marvelous.