Friday, 4 February 2011


CAIRO, EGYPT - FEBRUARY 01: Youths smile as th...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeI know I'm a grumpy old man, but I do have a number of pet hates. You know, things that any reasonable human being would rail against like grocers' apostrophes (Avocadoe's 2 for £1) or the awful American habit that has crept across the Atlantic of referring to everything as awesome. It's all too often accompanied by a specific pronunciation, AWESUUUUM! It helps to assume the expression of a particularly stupid chihuahua presented with a chocolate a moment before it has been smacked on the back of the head with a cricket bat.

It's like a linguistic background radiation. That Kit-Kat was awesome! You breathed in and out again? Awesome! This is all so totally, awesome! Wouldn't it be awesome if they have fish on as a special today?

No. It wouldn't.

I think my least favourite thing about this over-use of the blasted word is that if a Kit-Kat is awesome, what is the sight of two million Egyptians gathered in brotherhood in Cairo's Tahrir Square? What is the sight of them praying together, Christians and Muslims alike? What is the sound of two million voices raised in unison demanding that Hosni Mubarak resign on this 'Day of Leaving'? What is all that hope, that joy and that peacefully expressed, human want for justice, peace and freedom?

Yes, people. This is awesome. Mind-bombingly, thrillingly awesome. I have the feeling, the first time since that awful low of the early hours of Thursday morning when it looked like it might all be over after the terrible violence from Mubarak's thugs throughout the night, that these voices might, finally, be heard. I'm supposed to be editing, but I'm glued to AlJazeera, whose team must surely now win every award in television, journalism and sheer bloody minded determination this year. They're using satphones to broadcast their images - cameras stolen, office closed, license withdrawn and journalists under threat and yet they're still maintaining world-class non-stop programming. Awesome.

Have a flip through these when you've got a moment. The amazing images of photojournalists Samuel Aranda and Iason Athanasiadis that bring this all home. They're awesome too.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Stained said...

And what is your opinion about the word Awesomeness...?? ;P

Sarah Walton said...

My seven-year-old Australian son has learnt a wholesome English public school accent which is only ever dropped for two words: "turdilly ossum!"
If we ever move back to oz he is going to get throttled as soon as he opens his mouth - I am quite concerned.

Thanks for the picture link - it's been hard to see anything with detail on the telly.

Smashing post.

Mita said...

Ooh! I have been pondering a post on this word for a while. I think people use words without realising what they really mean. So glad you posted this and the first person I will share this with is my son, Partha - who uses awesome for MacDonalds. I mean, really?

Partha Srinivasan said...

That is true - Mita has pointed that out to me - however - I have ceremoniously and consciously reduced the use of the word as I have been told repeatedly that few things in life are truly Awe-some :)

I now understand :)

But Bolt and most Disney cartoons do use that particular word in healthy servings through out their thrilling animation movies!

eric blair said...

Please pardon us for enjoying life. Next time, we Americans will try to be a bit more reserved, emulate the Queen and use her English properly. We will tone down our enthusiasm in order to please you. Kindly accept our humble demure. We won't make the mistake of allowing our appreciation of existence to come to your attention.

Dave said...

Awesome blog..

Luke said...

Eddie Izzard cleared up this overuse of the word awesome many years ago:

nzm said...

Maybe the word to define what's happening in Egypt should not be "awesome" but, instead, be "awe-inspiring".

rosh said...

LOL! Aaaawwsome post dawg! :D

Gerry said...

awesome post, dude. I await your thoughts on "cool," "righteous," "sweet" and "hot."

yours in embracing literalness,

gerry "the awesome american" doyle

Dubai Photo Story said...

Just awesome!!!

papalogic said...


Oh wait, that's my top hated overused exclamation.

From The Dungeons

Book Marketing And McNabb's Theory Of Multitouch

(Photo credit: Wikipedia ) I clearly want to tell the world about A Decent Bomber . This is perfectly natural, it's my latest...