Get Out Of Your Rut: Fresh Ways To Say ‘Great’!

Holding up a trophy - alternatives to the word greatHow often do you use “Great!” to describe a movie you just saw, a vacation you just took, a meal you just ate in your favorite restaurant?

I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to using the well-worn superlative “Great!” to describe just about anything I consider enjoyable or first-rate. This Ruthless Editor and “word lady,” as some call me, gets lazy … and boring.

When I happened on blogger Brian Wasko’s post “100 Ways to Say ‘Great!” I knew I wanted to share it with you.

Something considered great — in other words, of high quality or degree — is considerably above the normal or average for whatever you’re describing. Synonyms for great are prominent, eminent, distinguished, celebrated, renowned, leading, major, matchless.

Superlative also implies the highest quality or degree. Synonyms are excellent, magnificent, wonderful, marvelous, supreme, consummate, outstanding, remarkable, choice, first-rate, first-class, premier, prime, unsurpassed, unequaled, unparalleled, unrivaled, pre-eminent, brilliant.

So why don’t we call on those descriptors when we want to explain our experience with an exceptional symphony performance, an inspiring Adele concert, a special weekend with family or dear friends, a well-executed golf swing, a winning tennis match?

I challenge you — and I challenge myself — to think harder and stretch our brains to come up with more-creative descriptors. If you haven’t yet opened Brian’s link, here are some samples from his list to get you started:

brilliant, delightful, extraordinary, glorious, laudable, masterful, out of this world, praiseworthy, remarkable, sensational, thrilling, unparalleled, world-class

Thanks, Brian, for reminding us that our language is rich in words that describe things, and that some words have nuances that give our descriptions added depth and meaning.

Add interest and vitality to your speaking and writing by taking yourself well beyond great.

How about picking a descriptor for this blog and leaving it in the Comment section below. If it’s the opposite of great, I’ll accept that as well!

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Kathy Watson

Kathy Watson has a love/hate relationship with grammar; she loves words and the punctuation that helps them make sense, yet she hates those pesky rules. A self-proclaimed ruthless editor, she prefers standard usage guidelines of The Associated Press Stylebook. Her easy-to-use Grammar for People Who Hate Rules helps people write and speak with authority and confidence. She encourages and welcomes questions and comments. (Email)

1 thought on “Get Out Of Your Rut: Fresh Ways To Say ‘Great’!

  1. Avatarmorst

    Top notch!
    Far and away!
    Without compare.

    This column was really, really, really good. I liked it a lot.

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