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Astounding! Why Not Astonished?|
Copyright 2004, Bill Platt
The use of certain words in the English language annoy me.
Perhaps it is just a personal pet peeve and perhaps I am
*Astounded* and *astounding* are two versions of a word that
peeves me to no end. In my little mind, these two words are
used far too often.
There are so many better words that convey the exact same
meaning as *astound*, so why do I never hear the news and
television people use those other synonyms? (surprise,
astonish, amaze, astound, dumbfound, flabbergast.)
Why not *astonish* or its many variations? In my mind, this
is a much better word.
Perhaps it comes from a need for news people to exaggerate
a news story for effect. This is what bugs me about the
variations of *astound.* *Astound-* strikes me as a more
exaggerated method of describing the surprise or wonder
attached to the word.
Even in dictionary.com's list of synonyms listed above,
*astound* falls fourth in line as a synonym for *surprise*,
as opposed to *astonish* which is the second defined synonym
This is such a strongly held irritation that I have began
to annoy my wife by pointing out the overuse of this word.
Every time Geraldo or one of the other news people convey
their message with the word *astounding*, I yell out, *Why
I am truly astonished, shocked and dismayed every time I hear
the variations of the word *astound-*, so much so that I just
want to scream about it from the highest hills.
So here I am, screaming from my soapbox:
Quit *astounding* me. Instead, *astonish* me with some real
creativity in the vocabulary used in your next television
This article was originally written: January, 2004
The article on this page is Copyright © 2004, Bill Platt
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notice when you reprint this work.
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