Monday, November 15, 2010

Just a word?

I just love seeing these colors when I drive up to my house and pull in. I love Autumn!!

Since my last post was in September and titled Summer is over..., and this is November, clearly I could call this post Autumn is here... if only it were the same year. It is though not a little over a month later, but a a little over a year later. I enjoy writing and sharing things, and I have been reading some of the blogs I enjoy. This last year has been quite a growing time for me. With growth there is usually stretching and often some pain. Let me just say, I have grown a LOT this last year. I would start to blog and become overwhelmed. There was so much I wanted to say and share. Too much I suppose. I imagine some of what I have learned will start to come out over time here on my blog. I do want to share with you some wonderful, life changing things I have been discovering. I also have a few things to share that do not come with such energy, just simple good things from the year.

In the mean time, and for quite some time, there is something that has really made me quite uneasy. Truth be known, it has honestly grieved me at times. That grieved feeling just occurred as I just encountered this particular issue again. I decided it was time to write about it. Writing seems to sort it all out for me. I have been writing this year, just not blogging. While writing what follows, I decided it was time to and that I was ready to get back to blogging. I don’t typically post a rant from a soap box, and I do wonder if it is really the way I should step back in to the blogosphere. This entry on my blog is a bit of a rant and it is how I am getting back into this world of blogs that I do enjoy.

Here goes.

The word “sweet” is used as a verbal response to everything from a job well done to kids succeeding at some mischievous deed. The latter concerns me. The word that I feel is so vastly and erroneously, if not simply ignorantly used is “awesome”. The way this word is so cavalierly thrown around honestly disheartens; no it actually grieves me. We have “dumbed down” our society in so many ways and lowered the standard for so many things once held dear. Language and good communication have an important role in achieving and maintaining a good quality of life. I suppose I could roll off into a tangent here about texting, IMing and other social medias where loose abbreviations, flat out misspelled words and little if any grammar or punctuation is used. What I really want to comment on here however is the way “awesome” is abused. The word “misuse” connotes simply using something wrongly where no harm is present. Abuse denotes using something so wrongly that harm is brought to bear. The correct word here is, abuse.


c.1600, "profoundly reverential,"

Original meaning in 1600’s according to the Online Etymology Dictionary Douglas Harper, Historian.

I understand that some of the events God caused were and are awesome. Since an offshoot definition of awesome is: to be characterized by awe, and awe inspiring, it is still connected to who God is . The root of those things is the things God created or did, and He is the only One that could create or do them. So basically, they still go back to the original meaning, “profoundly reverential”.

c.1670’s from awe + some. Meaning"inspiring awe”

Online Etymology Dictionary Douglas Harper, Historian.

The Lord replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord—the awesome power I will display for you. Exodus 34:10

By the early 1960’s this word had adapted a dumbed and watered down usage. Awesome was truly weakened and stripped of its original beautiful meaning. It became the familiar and common vernacular for something being really good, impressive or great. That is a huge step, leap down from "profoundly reverential". What is worse, typically the word “totally” is said directly before awesome. How many times have you heard, or sorry to ask, said, “That is totally awesome!”? In a current Thesaurus, under the word “spooky” the synonym “awesome” was listed. WOW! From a wonderful adjective to describe God, to a being a word to sensationalize the word spooky is so very sad.

If we diminish our language by using words that are intended for the majesty and glory of God for the works and emotions of man, then we deny ourselves the opportunity to have the incomparable and unparalleled relationship with God we were created to have. We diminish our ability to rightly give God his rightful place, or at best desensitize ourselves to equate God with being really good, impressive or great. Both are sabotaged by simple familiarity and common mediocrity. When we in any way compromise the value of our personal relationship with God and all of the promises and love therein, we put ourselves in a position to experience harm.

God’s handiwork is awesome. His authority, power and majesty are awesome. HE is awesome, and there is none like Him! Now that is awe inspiring to the degree of life changing!

The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God.He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne. Psalm 89:7

And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel , they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the Lord in the cloud. Exodus 16:10

“Who is like you among the gods, O Lord—

glorious in holiness,

awesome in splendor,

performing great wonders?" Exodus 15:11

There are other wonderful verses with the word awesome perfectly placed by describing our Awesome God.

Given the vastness of this word being used (abused) the way it is used, it is likely and I am aware of this, I could be standing alone on my soap box. Before he left this world and stepped into glory, at least I had one concordant soul.

C.S. Lewis once said:

“Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”


Kim said...

So I probably shouldn't say that it's awesome to see you posting again, huh?

Teresa said...

You could... and you know I'd still love you.

Barbara said...

Back at last. Am linking you to a post where I am featuring the beautiful book that you sent me Teresa. Hope that is OK

carla said...

I'm so pleased to read your new post.

And what a worthy subject and so well put!

For some time I've been concerned about the use of the word "Holy" with other words for use as an expletive. It doesn't matter if the other word isn't a swear word - only God is holy and it seems demeaning to Him for that description to be given to the profane and the common.

A local restaurant has a really wonderful fruit/trifle type dessert called "To Die For". It's very tasty, but I wouldn't die for it, and it does trivialize death.