It’s not that uncommon to hear language mavens complain that others are using words incorrectly. If you say a movie is “terrific” or “awesome,” they will ask you if you really thought the movie caused terror or awe. Both meanings of those two words are accurate today, only because language changes according to common usage. It wasn’t that long ago that “twitter” and “tweet” were sounds made only by birds.
I do think both “terrific” and “awesome” are annoyingly overused, however. It’s a good idea to look for fresh ways to express clichés.
In my next few posts I’ll come up with some more words that have come to be used differently than originally intended.