Citizens of the English-speaking world! We have a problem! Our hyperbole has gotten so out-of-control that words do not have the same impact that they used to! Back in the day, good meant good, and great meant way, way better than good! But now great just means good.
“How are you today?!”
“Oh, I’m great, thanks!”
No, you are not. You are just good. But now you think great means good. And it gets worse.
Great started meaning good, so we had to take other, bigger words to mean great. “Awesome” was a word that used to describe, basically, God, and other God-related items, such as huge storms, mountains, waterfalls, etc. But then it became a substitute for “great.”
“How are you?”
“Well, I just found out that there is free lunch at the meeting.”
Words that used to be at least two steps up from “good” became only one step above. “Incredible,” “Marvelous,” “Superb,” and “Fantastic,” all lost a bit of their meaning. And it gets worse.
These days, those words, already demoted by a factor of one, have become commonplace synonyms for “good.”
“How are you doing today?”
“Awesome. How are you?”
“Oh, just marvelous. Hey, come watch this incredible cat video.”
This is bad. The exponential rate at which we are going through words is just not sustainable. At this rate, our children will have no words left with which to express wonder, awe, and supreme amazement. We have to stop it!
I know that there has been an attempt to scientifically create new words to express what we can no longer clearly express. The hybrid word “Ginormous” was created in a lab when it was discovered that skyscrapers and thunderstorms were being described using the same modifiers as cheeseburgers and bags of fries. But this didn’t work, because as soon as this new word was created, people immediately demoted it to the same level as “gigantic” and “enormous.”
“Oh my gosh, that milkshake is ginormous!“
What I am proposing is a two part system of language repair. First: we must create new words to mean hyperbolic things. Second: we must all agree to use them sparingly in order for these new words to retain their specificity and grandeur. If we can all agree to do these two things, then there is a slim chance that the balance of language can be restored and our descendants will be able to effuse thoughts and emotions as well as our ancestors. So I implore you, make up some new words today, and use them on occasion, but not too often! Teach them to your children, but stress the importance of restraint. To get you started, I will give you a few examples.
Bayconorous – adj. The absolute best.
Dincrashtic – adj. As loud as possible.
Grandanimous – adj. Very, very large.
Beclovement n. A stroke of extreme good luck.
Whifferential – adj. Scented in an extremely pleasing way.
Good luck, dear readers! With your help, and all of us working together, I am confident that we can overcome this crisis and make a bayconorous world for our children!