Choosing My Words

A friend, knowing how fed up I am with the overuse of the word "amazing," sent me this treasure. I shall study it. My only sadness is that it contains "awesome," which wore me out about twenty years ago.

Another friend has been posting a daily gratitude on Facebook for a few weeks. This got me to thinking about being grateful and wondering whether grateful differs from thankful. I think it does, but right now I can't pinpoint the specifics. Then there's appreciative. I guess grateful and thankful imply being grateful/thankful to someone whereas appreciative doesn't involve someone else in the transaction. This is just top-of-the-head thinking.

Another set of words that I've pondered of late is lucky-fortunate-blessed. A lot of people tend to use them as though they are synonyms, but for me, they are not.

My husband tells me that when we first met I told him, "I don't believe in luck." Wikipedia reports that luck is "a purposeless, unpredictable and uncontrollable force that shapes events favourably or unfavourably for an individual, group or cause." I don't think there is such a thing. But I find that sometimes I hear myself saying, "Boy, THAT was lucky!"

Fortunate is about tangible things, wealth and goods of various kinds. Fortunate has to do with having enough to eat, having a place to live, having clothes to wear and things to play with.

Then there is blessed. Which, to me, seems to mean "looked favorably upon by God." 

Those are my deep thoughts about words for today. Now I'm going to study the list to the left. Because I'm seldom, if ever, truly amazed.


Quiltdivajulie said…
This list is something I plan to read and savor, again and again. ANOTHER top-notch post, Missy N.
OT Quilter said…
Thanks for another thoughtful post. I, too, sometimes am annoyed by the overuse of a word (awesome and blessed come to mind) but the latest linguistic construction that may replace the use of many of the adjectives in your list is, "I can't even..." I guess one says that when words just aren't sufficient. Amanda Hess had a nifty essay about it in the Times recently.
AnnieO said…
Oh, I have to agree about awesome and amazing and even fantastic. These words float far more often to my lips than I care to think about. I'll study your list too :)
Barbara Anne said…
Love the word list! I, too, am tired of words overused until their nap has been rubbed off and "awesome" and "hero" are two that come to mind.

One missing word that is sorely needed back in common use (IMHO, anyway) is "startled". When someone is taken by surprise, they aren't usually SCARED. They have been startled. Sigh! :)

Nancy, this is yet another much needed post. Thank you!

Misterpaulman said…
I like your deep thoughts so I will share some of my own. For a period I shared gratitudes daily. During that period I noticed how really good my life was. A friend then dared me to find something nice someone else did every day. Preferably someone whose actions I witnessed. That Made me realize there are many people doing good things everyday from helping elderly and handicapped unload groceries to those risking life and limb to rescue people from the surf, Life is good if only we recognize it.
Janet O. said…
Another post that is food for thought. You are good at those.
I'll keep this list handy. : )
suz said…
I'm with you on the word "awesome" - I feel like I should add "fer shur" after it. About a year ago I started using "brilliant" but I feel like I've overused that word as well - thanks for posting this list - it's delightful and I'll keep it handy!
Tanya said…
I don't keep up with the "in" English words but I am an anti- Lucky person too. I cringe when I accidentally use the word and will go to great lengths to use Fortunate instead. A word I dislike is "deserve". I dislike being told that I deserve something (a treat because I've been good on a diet..."you deserve it") or someone being sympathetic and saying I didn't deserve something... Aren't words interesting!