Words have power. The ability to transcribe stories and knowledge into words transformed our ancestors into the human beings we are today. Words educate, influence, enslave and heal. That’s why it is such a tragedy when words are misused. Lately the word ‘Great’ has been abused and rendered a mockery by the political operatives in our federal government. So, as a public service, I’m offering alternative words.
At the risk of sounding elitist, Roget’s International Thesaurus, a book you should have learned how to use in high school English class, has 278 synonyms for the word Great. Knocking the count down for a few overlaps, there are at least 270 other words besides Great to use to help your reader or listener understand meaning. If books aren’t your thing, thesaurus.com has 136 alternatives.
Slang words like: dandy, marvy, crackerjack, stunning, and serious words like: important, consequential, momentous, significant, considerable and substantial, all do more to help us understand what you are trying to say. Using one word to describe everything is like using one crayon to color. The world is much richer when we use the whole of a language to communicate.
So, the next time some high minded big-wig throws out a corker of a word gaffe, you can snort at their colossal failure in using American English.