…what’s in a WURD?… Author buddy, Tony McManus explains…

…the use and abuse of the English language is part and parcel of the quill-scraper’s lot… this ol’ Jurassic takes great delight in rejoicing in reading how wordsmithing craftsmen and women practice the proper application of nuance and descriptive writing… other occasions will cause us all a collective groan… my Author pal, Tony McManus, puts it succinctly here for yeez :



I have a list of around thirty words and phrases that are overused, incorrectly used or mercilessly abused and debased. Here’s a few:








People who use these words repetitively in conversation are demonstrating how dull and ignorant they are. They are not listening to what’s being said, so they react by replying with these reflexive words. These are just a few that rankle. But at the top of this list is that once powerful word: AWESOME.

I say once powerful because now it is used to describe the most mundane of things and events and consequently has been totally devalued, leaving it with little of its potency. I ask you; how can a cup of Starbuck’s Latte be “awesome”? An “awesome” movie? Last night’s pizza was “awesome”? This is nonsense.

Iguazu Falls are definitely awesome.

Hurricane Katrina was awesome.

The Grand Canyon is awesome.

The Himalayan Mountains are awesome

Reinhold Messner’s Himalayan mountaineering climbs were awesome.

Felix Baumgartner’s parachute jump from the edge of space was


The Battle of Britain was an awesome battle.

Michelangelo’s sculpture, David is an awesome work of art.

A fine lasagna, no matter how well made and tasty, is NOT awesome.

In 1988 along with seven others, in four canoes, I paddled the length of the South Nahanni River in Canada’s North West Territories. No roads up there, all travel by bush plane, or canoe; fly in, paddle out. Bear country and all the mosquitoes you can handle. It’s a twenty three day paddle downriver from the source to Fort Simpson; three days of it dangerous white water. And it rained for seventeen of those days. We were cold and wet, but ate and slept well at river bank campfires. We did it without a single capsize and arrived at Fort Simpson safe, exhausted, but happy men. After a big party, we said goodbye, shook hands and went our separate ways. We’d met as strangers and parted friends, never to meet again. What we did was a great adventure something we were all proud of. But it wasn’t awesome by any stretch.

I could go on, but I’ve made my point. Awesome has been so devalued and ruined, we can’t seriously use it anymore. We, writers especially, are forced to look for other equivalent words to describe the truly awesome.

I suggest we cease using it. Completely. We should put the word back in its box to rest and allow it to recuperate, rebuild its atrophied muscle and get healthy and strong again for use by future generations; it will take years to get back its credit. But those future generations will thank us. So the next time someone posts a photo of an ice cream cone on Facebook and tells you it was “awesome”, set them straight. And kick a little ass in the process.


Tony McManus was born in Manchester, England. He worked in many jobs to serve his passion for travel such as English teacher, bar tender, taxi driver, and in southern Africa, construction work in the Transvaal goldmines and the copper mines of Zambia. Tony pursues and advocates good health, via diet and exercise. An outdoorsman, sailor, kayaker and canoeist, he also loves hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

He is the author of an espionage novel: The Iran Deception based on his time in Israel. He has just published: Down And Out In The Big Mango, a collection of short stories set in Thailand. His second novel: A Bangkok Interlude is due out by late summer.
He resides alternately in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Ste. Adele, Quebec, Canada.

He can be found at: http://downeastern.wix.com/tonymcmanuswriter

Or via his email: downeastern@hotmail.com

Tony is the author of a novel: The Iran Deception. http://amzn.to/1Ppb45P

And a short story compilation: Down and Out in the Big Mango. http://amzn.to/1FetYVl

He has published several short stories:

Ray: http://amzn.to/1Ge6jq9

A Bangkok Solution: http://amzn.to/1A8LCuy

A Partner in Crime: http://amzn.to/1ENZpn2

The Bangkok SAS: http://amzn.to/1d5cVMb

He is presently working on two crime novels: A Bangkok Interlude, the first book in a series featuring Mike Villiers.

And The Company of Men, the first book in a series featuring James Fallon.

He expects both novels to see publication before the year’s end.

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

13 responses to “…what’s in a WURD?… Author buddy, Tony McManus explains…

  1. rohini99

    This is so true! How about the new abuse of the word ‘epic’. As ‘word abuse’ goes, definitely tragic-comic!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a lovely post Seumas. Thanks for sharing. Hugs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed the post. Thanks, Tony and Seumas. I copied down those words. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve a bad habit of ‘awesome’. 😥

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Unfortunately or not, language, like everything else, is subject to fashions and fancies. Yes, it devalues the meaning of some words, but it’s alive and it belongs to everybody, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rosa Ave Fénix

    It happens in other languajes as in Spanish… when a word is in fashion, whatever it is… people use it even when they are sleeping!!!!


  7. I don’t think any community uses the word ‘awesome’ as much as New England. AND I HATE IT!!!. I want to slap the next person who says it, but wouldn’t you know, my little 3-year-old grandson now says it the entire time he’s pulling along his little truck: “AWWWWesome” he shouts. And I shiver. Please, please, may this word go away – soon.


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