What’s with the word “amazing” these days? I am so sick of it! Any question I ask about how something looks, tastes, feels, was or, in the case of a person, is, I get the same canned answer: amazing! “It was amazing!” “The food was amazing!” “She is amazing!” The weather for this time of year, your sister’s vacation to Hungary, your daughter’s first-grade teacher, your new hairstylist’s foiling techniqe, the sale at The Children’s Place–and, of course, whoever happens to be singing for Paula–all of them, amazing.

I think our love affair with “amazing” must have something to do with our shoddy collective vocabulary (and I certainly include myself in this generalization.) “Amazing” covers it all: nice, good, fun, interesting, exciting, different, competent, even above-average. A mediocre event can even slip into the amazing category on a good day, because the person describing the event may only know one word with which to describe it (that word being the only adjective heard on t.v., especially reality t.v.; the fact that I know this may explain the shoddiness of my own vocabulary). In fact, I set this whole mess squarely on Paula Abdul’s shoulders, whom I think should file a patent for the word.

Maybe we should all just ‘fess up and substitute “amazing” with “awesome,” the Reagan-era equivalent of “amazing.” After hearing awesome! in every other sentence, we’d realize how ridiculous we sound doing the same thing with amazing! And we’d realize that when we term everything “amazing,” nothing really is.

I’ve griped now. I feel better.