Saturday, May 07, 2005


I've been thinking about the word awe lately. Taking it apart, putting it back together. I don't really get it. Namely...

Awesome would seem to describe something having some amount of awe, whereas awful seems to speak of being full of awe. I tend to think of awe as a good thing (or at least an emotion worth experiencing), and yet my native tongue would say that awesome is a good thing, while awful is to be avoided (at almost all costs). I'm sure there's some explanation for this, I just don't know what it is. Maybe if I knew Latin.

In case you were wondering, here are a few things that AWE is an acronym for: Accepted Weight Estimate, Atomic Weapons Establishment, American Wilderness Experience.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awful used to be a term of reverence, as when referring to God or natural phenomena or such like. For a while there, it was considered slang if you called something unpleasant "awful." Louisa May Alcott: not that any of her popular works were good at all, but I learned something from them I guess.


10:16 AM  
Blogger Melody said...

not good at all? pshaw! Reading Little Women was one of the most emotionally turbulent times of my youth. I learned so much about life and love and heartbreak and disappointment and cutting off all your hair and marrying old professors...

2:51 PM  
Blogger tracy said...

I don't know who this anonymous "s" is, but you are very very wrong. Little Women is a beautiful American novel with richly developed characters and if you're not filled with joy/reduced to tears after reading it, well then, I have to wonder about your emotional maturity.

Er, I mean, I guess it's not for everyone.

6:04 PM  
Blogger mattclack said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:53 PM  
Blogger mattclack said...

I liked your blog about awe...

10:55 PM  
Anonymous ian said...

nice work brett...the claws really came out on this one.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Brett said...


It's okay with me if you don't like Little Women. I've never read it being neither little nor a woman. The title does seem to be a bit of an oxymoron though, doesn't it? Shouldn't it just be called Girls?

2:10 PM  
Blogger mattclack said...

I was going to say something about "panties" and "twisting" but I deleted it.

2:15 PM  
Blogger tracy said...

But it's just that it's really really good! Don't you remember when Joey read it on Friends and he had to put it in the freezer when Beth started to get sick? Not that that's why you should like it.

It's just so good...sigh

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay. Here is why I am not that into Alcott's popular novels:

Read her other work! Works like Little Women reflect the values of her time period, NOT the values of Louisa May Alcott. Such works were written to save her family financially and they became popular (unlike A Long, Fatal Love Chase, which is incredible) because they are happy reinforcers...

...which, I concede, Little Women is good for. I always cried over Beth. However it is pale in comparison to her other work. I liked it when I was a little girl though, and I agree it has its merits.

Read A Long, Fatal Love Chase, and her collection of short stories, A Double Life. I highly recommend them.


9:54 AM  
Blogger tracy said...

Ok, fair enough. I respect that. I'll have to check out her other stuff. Your position has much more validity than Brett's "They should just call it Girls" argument.

And I'm glad you cried about Beth. That's the main thing I couldn't understand, b/c I bawled me eyes out.

Brett, maybe you should turn your blog into an on-line book club. Yes?

10:03 AM  
Anonymous candice said...

yall crack me up

-bored in h-town (candice)

11:06 AM  
Blogger Will Walker said...

The rabbit trail of these comments is aweful, or wait, maybe awesome. Either way, suffice it to say that I have an uncertain amount of awe right now.

7:13 PM  

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