(use your words wisely)
I went to a very expensive catholic school. Then I was forced to attend boarding school that was not as cool as Harry Potter’s ( but pretty close). Then I went to a university that cost me $1,000,000.00 per year. This expensive education brought me a plethora of awesome memories, but the one thing I hold dear is the massive vocabulary I obtained. It makes feel extremely superior and I oftentimes find myself using large words to trip people up, mostly because I want to laugh a little bit inside.
I say all this because I feel I have a right to determine when people use words and I also have a vested interest in making sure words are used correctly in society. Because I am a huge fan of all things the internet, I’ve noticed a recent surge in the abuse of several words that are being used to describe ideas and objects that they have no business being connected to. These descriptive words are being used so much out of context, in ways that are utterly offensive. People want to use these words to draw your attention to their Facebook post of baby’s first words, a spider that scuttled across the floor in a weird way on YouTube, or their the latest Vine video of a skateboard trick . Here is my list of words that people are using wrong, and must stop immediately:
EPIC: 1.noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style; 2.heroic; majestic; impressively great. Before the blow up of the social media generation, I swear I only heard people use the word epic to describe historic war battles and Martin Luther King, Jr. speeches. They generated respect, awe, and admiration, and seemed to be once-in-a-lifetime entities. Nowadays, there’s a new “epic” wedding dance posted every week, where people are supposed to be amazed that someone’s 60 year-old mom garnered enough rhythm to do the Na-Na or Cupid Shuffle. It’s not epic, it’s just cool.
BREATHTAKING: 1.thrillingly beautiful, remarkable, astonishing, exciting, or the like. Breathtaking is a beautiful word. Hell, it’s in the definition. The thought that something or someone would literally cause you to make a strong effort to take your next breath is unbelievable. When I think of something that is breathtaking, I think of seeing a killer what jump out of the ocean in person or witnessing the Dalai Lama give a commencement speech, if you’re lucky. What I DON’T think of when the word breathtaking comes to mind is a guy drawing lines in the sand that resemble E.T., or even two women synchronize ribbon dancing on America’s Got Talent. Again, not breathtaking, just cool.
ASTOUND: 1.to overwhelm with amazement; astonish greatly; shock with wonder or surprise. Many of these words are similar, but all have a bit of a different meaning. To astound someone, is to bring them to the point where whatever they witnessed is beyond belief and nothing like they’ve ever witnessed before. Astounding things are epic. The fact that a small-town high school in Kentucky just discovered that their gym teacher is secretly a great flamenco dancer is not. It’s simply pretty cool- interesting, even.
MIND-BLOWING: 1. overwhelming; astounding; 2. producing a hallucinogenic effect. Notice how these words are interchangeable? A mind-blowing object is by definition astounding. A person can be, for lack of a better phrase, blown away by hearing a clip of Whitney Houston’s rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” from the Superbowl back in the day. It’s mind-blowing because she possessed talent like no other, and listening to her sing could bring people to tears and emit emotions that you didn’t know you had. With that being said, you have to know that my mind will never being blown away watching a big girl dance on a pole or by seeing the supposed likeness of Elvis in piece of toast.
I also threw in a few bonus phrases that are thrown around loosely, on the internet and real-life, that need to be reeled in a bit. Use your words wisely, people:
BONUS WORD-RELATIONSHIP: 1. a union in which two people are in a committed partnership, in which there is mutual respect, admiration, chemistry, that is also known to the rest of the world. Everyone wants to be in a relationship. It feels nice and you get to tell your friends about, including the gazillion people on Facebook (because it’s not official until it’s acknowledged online, right?). However, there are many people who throw the term out there on a whim, thinking they are in a relationship, when the aforementioned factors are not present. No chemistry? You’re not in a relationship. Your boyfriend not responding to your texts and only calls on the weekends? Hey, you’re not in a relationship. I can also say with confidence that this individual is not your boyfriend either.
BONUS PHRASE-HANG-OUT:1. A place where individuals gather to enjoy a common interest, such as drinking, pool, or card games. Unfortunately, a new definition of this word has popped to describe what many women think is a relationship, mostly used by the male species. If a man has seen a woman 1-2 times per week for a month or so, his friends may inquire about their relationship status. Said man will quickly retort, “Oh , we’re just hanging out”. Sad thing, the woman in this equation is using the bonus word from above to describe the same thing the man is. And if you have to wonder whether or not you’re in this hang-out scenario, you probably are. And it’s not a relationship. So cut your losses while you can, and go find someone with a far superior vocabulary. We are MUCH more attractive.