May 17, 2014


From a mandarin TV drama : A man gave his reason to a police officer why he reacted in a certain way. The officer said his reason was illogical and could not be believed. Then I noticed that the word awesome was used in the English subtitles.

There was nothing awesome about his reason, the man or the situation.

I think awesome is not the correct word to use. It should be incredulous.

Awesome means extremely impressive, serious or difficult so that you are filled with immense wonder and joy or you feel great respect, worry, or fear. For example an awesome sight (for example the seven wonders of the world), an awesome responsibility (for example organizing the national day parade) or an awesome performance. This would be a performance which is spectacular and inspiring.

I think some people are using the word very loosely or maybe they want to exaggerate. For example, I don't think the Chinatown CNY light-up was awesome or the fish-head soup at a certain stall is awesome.

If you use awesome too often, then when you come across something really awesome you may have no word to use because awesome is already a superlative. Or when you say something is awesome people will give your awesome a big discount.

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