“Amazing” was the go-to word on this year’s Academy Awards red carpet. In fact, if you had a drink every time someone’s gown or Oscar experience or career was said to be amazing, you’d have been drunk before the ceremony even started.
At one time, something amazing did “overwhelm with wonder,” or at the very least, “surprise greatly” (two definitions from the Canadian Oxford Dictionary). Even the Urban Dictionary describes amazing as this:
“Something that is so wonderful, it is hard to find the words to match. Something that makes your heart beat faster or your heart melt.”
Red carpet aside, our daily lives are more likely to be called good than amazing. And that’s okay. Non-stop amazing would make it hard to appreciate that amazing life, wouldn’t it?
But we need options, if only to avoid saying “Good” every single time someone asks how we’re doing.
On his Daily Writing Tips blog, Michael Moser came up with 41 words he called “better than good.” Well, yes, they were better; so much better – like breathtaking, choice and dazzling – they would be fine substitutes for amazing. Surprisingly enough, amazing did not make his list except as an explanation for breathtaking.
But sometimes you don’t need better than good, you just need an alternative, if only to switch up your responses. Here are some options:
To respond to “How are you?”
- As expected
- Better every day
- Doing well
- In shape
- On the mend
- On top of things
- Ticking along
- Up to par, up to scratch, up to snuff
And to respond to “How was the movie?” or “What was the speaker like?” and similar:
- Fit, fitting
- Of merit
- Suitable, suited
Then there are the “damned with faint praise” options, which seem to have an unspoken “barely” in front of them:
- All right
- Good enough
If you catch me answering “Good” to a question, be sure to remind me that I have options.
What other word would you add to the list?