Lessons learned from the Oscars: Shoes can be vegan too—Anne Hathaway, Best Supporting Actress, carries her eating habits all the way down to her custom vegan Giuseppe Zanotti heels, which she explained up and down the red carpet; a gracious fall is almost better than not falling at all—Jennifer Lawrence has taken the upstairs slip to great heights; people use the word “amazing” way too often.
Amanda Seyfried looked amazing in her Alexander McQueen dress even though she said she felt like her organs were being pulled out of her body slowly. Meanwhile, the amazing Amy Adams was dressed to impress in her amazing powder blue Oscar de la Renta dress. Nine-year-old sweetheart Quvenzhane Wallis brought a stuffed pooch purse which fans thought was amazing. “You look amazing!” “What an amazing performance!” “It was such an amazing experience.” “AHmazing!” “ahhhMAZing.” “AhmaZING.”
STOP THE MADNESS. Take this word out of your vocabulary immediately. It has officially dove into the verbal overkill sea with literally, awesome and whatever.
Use the Word ‘Amazing’ Again and You’ll be Ordinary, Normal and Common
This is our language and we must take command. As Louis CK so eloquently asks in his riff on the overuse of amazing in his “Hilarious” stand-up routine, what if something life-altering and truly incredible really happens to you?
What if one day you were whisked off the street by a winged unicorn and taken to see the seven wonders of the world holding onto Channing Tatum for dear life? Amazing would be the perfect exclamation but unfortunately you once used that to describe a basket of chicken wings.
21st Century Leaders
Leaders need to use more adjectives than amazing. If they went around to all of their employees spouting, “Amazing work,” “Truly amazing,” they probably wouldn’t be taken as serious.
Take Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group. He is the fourth richest individual in the United Kingdom, according to Forbes. Now, he is impressive in innovation and charity work considering he has pledged to commit $3 billion over the next ten years to the reduction of global warming. His website highlights more of the global charity work over the last 40+ years. Does he use abuse the word amazing? Probably not.
Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy.com, leads one of the most remarkable advertising campaigns in history. He is one of the world’s billionaires and like Branson, has a long list of philanthropic donations with Parson’s GoDaddy Cares campaign. Do you think he’s using still using this now useless verbiage? Not if he wants people to believe him. And, considering he is is number 311 on Forbes 400 richest Americans list … there’s not a lot of time for forced flattery.
What IS Amazing
Armless children living a normal life. David Copperfield magic. Losing 100 pounds and testing negative for diabetes. A once two-pound premature baby turns 10 and every organ is at 100 percent. Beethoven, Shakespeare, Henry Ford, Abraham Lincoln. Cancer survivors are amazing, not pretty dresses and mediocre acting performances.
Substitutions for this word that is now dead to me include: fascinating, shocking, remarkable, stunning, astounding, breathtaking, impressive, unbelievable, spectacular, striking, awe-inspiring, moving, magnificent, spine-tingling, titanic. I was going to add extraordinary to the list of substitutions, but then decided … extraordinary, along with amazing … you are fired.