The word 'good' as graffiti“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?”

  1. As expected
  2. Better every day
  3. Comfortable
  4. Doing well
  5. Fine
  6. Improving
  7. In shape
  8. On the mend
  9. On top of things
  10. Okay
  11. Ticking along
  12. Up to par, up to scratch, up to snuff
  13. Well

And to respond to “How was the movie?” or “What was the speaker like?” and similar:

  1. Able
  2. Accurate
  3. Affable
  4. Agreeable
  5. Amiable
  6. Appropriate
  7. Apt
  8. Balanced
  9. Capable
  10. Clear
  11. Competent
  12. Congenial
  13. Correct
  14. Credible
  15. Decent
  16. Dependable
  17. Diverting
  18. Effective
  19. Enjoyable
  20. Fit, fitting
  21. Likeable
  22. Nice
  23. Of merit
  24. Pleasant
  25. Pleasing
  26. Presentable
  27. Proper
  28. Qualified
  29. Real
  30. Reliable
  31. Reputable
  32. Respectable
  33. Right
  34. Serviceable
  35. Solid
  36. Sound
  37. Stable
  38. Steady
  39. Suitable, suited
  40. Tasteful
  41. Useful
  42. Well-made

Then there are the “damned with faint praise” options, which seem to have an unspoken “barely” in front of them:

  1. Acceptable
  2. Adequate
  3. All right
  4. Bearable
  5. Decent
  6. Edible
  7. Usable
  8. Good enough
  9. Middling
  10. Ordinary
  11. Palatable
  12. Passable
  13. Satisfactory
  14. Sufficient
  15. Tolerable

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?

Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash.