Letters to the Editor

An awesome view

Words that wriggle into the popular vernacular tend to become overused and misused.

On a humorous note, here are a couple of words the internet helped go viral online and in everyday conversation: awesome … ton of, tons of.

Beginning years ago, within the first few posts in the comments section of online product reviews, I would invariably be subjected to some variant of: AWESOME!!!!

People are copycats and it spread like wildfire on social media and in everyday conversation. Next I’m bracing for: TONS OF AWESOMENESS!!!!

Parents get a pass. When conversing with their kids they naturally tend to use the lingo that’s popular with them.

On a more serious note: The increasing use of subjective, sleight-of-hand words.

President Trump spouts an armful, including: unbelievable, incredible, amazing, tremendous, beautiful, wonderful, terrible, horrible. (Anyone heard “awesome” yet?)

These flashy but empty prop words have burrowed into and weakened our everyday lexicon. They have hypnotically slithered into common use even by TV newscasters and talk show participants.

Such fuzzy words are a staple for those who aim to bamboozle you. You hear them in TV product pitches designed to separate you from your money.

Listen to Trump — really listen — when he’s interviewed or giving a speech. You hear these fuzzy words repeatedly, along with effusive gesturing as a distraction. Then he repeats a catchy phrase such as “Build that wall” until it takes nest in receptive minds. He is well-practiced in the art of closing the deal.

Richard Harkness

Ocean Springs

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