1/21/2004 Add a comment

From the Friendster Bulletin Board of Matt Schwartz:

Many thanks to everyone who helped. Here are the results:

What accounts for the rise of the word “awesome?” There are many theories. Here are five:

1. “Awesome” is usually an absurd overstatement of one’s approval, which calls
the approval itself into question, which absolves one from the consequences of
actually approving.
2. The rapidly improving quality of consumer goods and popular entertainments has given rise to a higher instance of genuine awe. That is to say, the world is already a pretty awesome place, and it is getting even more awesome every day.
3. A chasm has suddenly yawned open between the present and the past. The aging
youth flings a rope-bridge into the air, attempting to span the gap. “Awesome” is the
sound the rope-bridge makes as it clatters down the side of the canyon’s wall.
4. The absence of actual awe has left behind lingering trace hopes that merely calling
something awesome will make it so.
5. “Awesome” is a very easy and pleasurable word to say. Ian

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