A Door Unopened

A Door Unopened
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Seriously. Aren't you? Aren't we all?

It seems impossible to me that after a decade of verbal abuse AWESOME is still clogging the word-o-sphere. It's AWESOME this, AWESOME that, AWESOME the other and the next thing. It's the thing your kid told you about, the thing the sports announcer described, the rapper decried, your neighbor relayed, the description of your girlfriend's latest shopping spree, the exclamation regarding your son's report card , your husband's recent threesome dream, the overambitious expectation of your daily doings--Have an AWESOME day. It must be AWESOME and if not, you're sure to have bummed somebody's trip.

You may not know anything else about what's coming your way but you certainly know this: Some part of that thing that you have yet to know about will be AWESOME. Guaranteed. Bonafide. Dyed-in-the-wool, believe it or not, nothing that compares to--TOTALLY AWESOME!

Do you know why it will be AWESOME? Don't give me that look of perplexity because you know. Oh, YOU KNOW. You just won't admit it to yourself. Face it.You don't  have to dig down very deeply to get it. It'll be AWESOME because everything that's  part of the way to pretty good or even most of the way to A-OK these days is AWESOME. And if it's not AWESOME it's TOTALLY AWESOME!


Here's what I propose: There is a strong likelihood it's not going to be AWESOME. It's going to be SOMETHING ELSE that requires a different adjective than AWESOME.

Word, people:
AWESOME has been thoroughly overused, abused, sacked, raped, pillaged, and has incurred a social disease of the worst kind: AWESOME is dying from a severe case of AD NAUSEUM. AWESOME has become trite, hackneyed, disingenuous, weak and flabby. It doesn't mean anything anymore except an over exuberance of false emotion, lack of imagination and sheep-like devotion to popular verbiage.

In an effort to reduce the the edema of misuse/overuse/hyperbole of this once special and now all too common word, I'm going to offer you some alternatives to AWESOME suggested by the main authority I most often consult, Thesaurus.com:

alarming ,amazing, astonishing, awe-inspiring, awful, beautiful, breathtaking, daunting, dreadful, exalted, fearful, fearsome, formidable, frantic, frightening, grand, hairy*, horrible, horrifying, imposing, impressive, intimidating, magnificent, majestic, mean, mind-blowing*, moving, nervous, overwhelming, real gone, shocking, something else, striking, stunning, stupefying, terrible, terrifying, wonderful, wondrous, zero cool    Antonym: unamazing.

Here are a few of my own:
earth-shattering, sphincter-clenching. goose-bump inducing, pit-drenching, panty-dampening, eyebrow-raising, heart-thumping, daze-inducing, fusion-inspiring, Maker-awakening, mountain-trembling, jaw-dropping, irrepressibly bouyant, teeth-grinding, knee-knocking, headlight shining, pants-wetting, chest-beating and so on...

It's time folks. It's WELL BEYOND time to pick a few new adjectives and set our vocabularies free.

I can't tell you how AWESOME it would be if AWESOME moved back to its rightful place, ie., in relation to descriptions of extraterrestrials, miracles, telekinesis, alchemy, reanimation, spontaneous human combustion, plagues, acts of God, etc..

Variety is the spice of life. Care to partake?

Please feel free to comment and/or add to my list of superlatives. I would be be happy (overjoyed, thrilled, satisfied, appreciative) to see the list grow to afford us all a bit more verbal latitude.


  1. My two immediate thoughts on reading this is:
    1. Threesome dreams definitely should not be bestowed with "Awesome". However, threesome realities, whenever they happen clearly merit the original intent of Awesome-ness.

    2. I look forward to praising my girls upon a deserving moment that their actions or accomplisments were "sphincter-clenching".

    :) Ri-Chee

  2. That blog entry was totally awesome.

    No wait.....strike that.

    That blog entry was like a stream of bat's piss. It shined out like a shaft of gold, when all around was dark.

    (Apologies to Monty Python's Flying Circus.)

  3. hairy?? i'm going to start greeting people with "hope you have a sphincter clenching day"....also, apologies to ri-chee but if it's a threesome dream involving female vampires, i'd classify that as awesome, or sphincter clenching

  4. I'm going to go along with RI-Chee and Anonymous, although I would remind Anonymous that "Sphincter-clenching" is hyphenated. And, no, I'm not anal retentive . . . really.

    However, having said that , I would also like to say that Threesomes, whether in Dream Time or Real, and sphincter-clenching do not go, uh, shall we say, together. Quite the opposite actually.

    So, whether, through double-entendre or double penetration, I hear you.

  5. Adding to the list of florid compound verbs:







  6. Thanks for the comments so far. You boy seem pretty wrapped-up with the sphincter-clenching entry. No to be sexist--except that it is--typical boy-appeal.

    To Buzz: Breath-looting as in breath-taking? I like your limbic one but it could just be shortened to limbic dump. Which makes me think of vaso-vagal as an option. A vaso-vagal event is when you momentarliy flat line. Yo.

  7. I do accept the fact, that as a male, my brain is hardwired to focus on anything sexual in nature and anything related to bodily excretory functions (and the anatomical parts associated with bodily excretory functions).

  8. Ah, my dear, as your blog's cover picture would indicate, it is a delightful symbolic representation of the doorway to the unconscious. As you rummage around in what may appear to be the basement of your psyche, you might be surprised to find different parts and aspects of your Self that have been previously unknown, un-recognized and/or un-appreciated.

    In the same way that we males have a feminine side, you females also have a masculine side and, most interestingly, is our mutual shadow side, along with its corresponding and shared biological component. It is not something to be denigrated and/or dismissed. For if done so, it is done at what is one's peril.

    Bringing the Darkness to the Light (and the Light to the Darkness) is the alchemical process of healing, integration and transformation. Dare I say, as a writer you might want to know and explore what you are dealing with -- and what is dealing with you!

  9. What? You're not going to call me on my prior-posted list of "compound verbs," when it's clearly a list of compound adjectives?

    Yeah, "breath-looting" as in "breath-taking," sort of. But taking implies a level of moderation, as in "taking an extra breath mint from the bowl." Whereas looting implies something more riotous, as in "looting of the Baghdad Museum." Looting is more awesome than mere taking.

  10. Dear davidspyle: I have alway acknowledged being in close touch with my male side and can't recall a time when I've left it unattended or wanting. How else could I have come up with sphincter-clenching in the first place?

  11. Dear Buzz: I am currently suffering from jet-lag and conference confusion. This explains my glaring typos and oversight on verbs vs. adjectives.

    I don't know about breath-looting. It just doesn't sit well. Breath-sucking--does that work for you?

  12. Shouldn't the follow-up piece "LIKE, UM, AWSOME"? Aaand.. From another male perspective when a woman uses the terms "panty dampening" and "threesome" in a single conversation it perks our senses, all over. God we are easy to preduict; kind of like any old hound dog.

  13. Actually, I've reconsidered panty-dampening and changed it to panty-drenching--a more effective term I believe. And I realize I left out colon-cleansing--the opposite effect of sphincter-clenching. As davidspyle has noted, woman have similar instincts to men but we're generally a LOT more circumspect about it. Clearly, I'm an outlier. (Outliar--another tempting morpheme)