I was buoyed today by Peg at Peg O’Leg’s Ramblings. In honor of tax day, she reposted an earlier musing. With her Me No Like-y Tax, she says, “each time the word ‘like’ is used, except to express a preference or to compare things, it will be taxed.”
Being a writer and a bit of a grammar freak, I’m all for it. I once snatched a marker from my daughter’s purse in the middle of Wal-Mart so I could correct a glaring apostrophe lapse on one of their signs. Emily abandoned me in the toothpaste aisle, my marker thrust toward the lights in triumph, but I felt, I knew it was my sworn duty to uphold the standard in this Apostrophe-Challenged World. After all, it’s not the first time I’ve caught Wal-Mart flubbing one of their signs.
But because apostrophe errors are widespread, I had to chill – my self-imposed burden became too much to carry alone. It was easier to let that one go and pick a new battle. Mostly.
Dictionary.com‘s definition of amazing is “to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder; astonish greatly.”
I was driving along the other day when I heard a radio ad for The Mineshaft Restaurant outside Milwaukee. Hmmm, I thought. Wonder if this place is worth the drive? After the radio announcer called it “The amazing Mineshaft” at least four times during the 30-second commercial, I decided I just couldn’t go there.
Not because the food isn’t good – I’m sure it is. I’m sure the wait staff is efficient and the place is clean. But when the waiter puts your meal in front of you, will you be speechless because of the astonishing way the pasta has been arranged on the plate? Will the pie bring you to tears? Probably not.
Others are noticing this amazing epidemic. The Huffington Post jumped on the bandwagon, and CBS News went so far as to suggest that amazing be banished. There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to Overuse of the Word Amazing.
The other night I was watching Steven and Chris on CBC. They’re engaging and fun, making fashion and food appealing and enjoyable. Their style consultant dressed her models in spunky spring fashions, then went on to call many of the ensembles amazing. She even called some of them uh-mazing.
The only truly uh-mazing thing I’ve heard lately is when Pope Francis kissed a relic holding the dried blood of St. Gennaro, turning part of the blood to liquid. And the poor guy only got credit for a half-miracle, because not all the blood liquefied. Apparently he didn’t kiss hard enough. Bummer.
So I’m with you, Peg – it’s gotta stop. Not sure if taxing is the answer, but I’ll keep my marker ready just in case…