The eggheads at Lake Superior State University have published their list of banished words for 2007 and on their list is my beloved “awesome.” Oh, they think they’re so smart, but what word are you going to use to describe something awesome if you can’t use the word “awesome?”
Well, considering the alternatives, I guess, rad isn’t bad, but it’s a little heavy on the california surfer vibe, and it sounds a bit odd coming from the mouth of a Clevelander. Excellent is good. Most Excellent is better. However, both of these carry the stigma of two Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure movies. Perhaps you could tone down your praise to good, or be bad (as in good), if those words weren’t so bland. Then you might consider, wicked, cool, or wicked cool, but if you don’t have that Boston accent, you’ll come off sounding wicked lame. Aces? Massive? Righteous? None of those words convey the power of the mighty, mighty, awesome. Far-out? Neat-o? Seriously, at this point we’ve reached the bottom of the hyperbole barrel, and we might as well live in a world empty of praise.
Sorry guys, I’m sticking with awesome. I wasn’t the one who ruined the word for you. In fact, I would argue that if you don’t have awesome inside of you, then you have no business using awesome in the first place. In your case, I think good will work pretty well.