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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