As has been detailed more than once by Y-H-B, there is a tendency among younger speakers of American English, in particular, to use the words “awesome,” “perfect,” and the phrase [sic] “love it” in response to the most diverse utterances. I witnessed this the other day when two adult educators––one a medical doctor–-stood before a class at a local middle school in Vermont and gave a presentation on wellness and physical health to a group of young teenagers. Whenever one of the students asked a question or made a comment, the woman in charge of the presentation responded with the word “awesome” or “perfect.” This happened every time over the course of a presentation that last more than half an hour.
It is clear that such a person is suffering from advanced speech anosognosia. What can an audience of youngsters who are used to hearing the words in question over and over again think of the meaning the speaker intends by repeating “awesome” ad nauseam?
How do you think about, articulate, and perform the liminal human experience of waiting? All of our experiences are cognitive as well as physical and none more so than lingering at a threshold before or between without the guiding parameters of most other prescribed behaviors. Possibly, these in-between, prolonged occurrences challenge us precisely because they are not articulated. Complete Book of Waiting, by Jo Carubia, Ph.D. begins the process of bringing a vocabulary, guides, and commentary to a very common experience. “Waiting is just a test of creativity and imagination.” (pg.2) “The semeiotic offers us a way to understand ….the third world that lies between the private incommunicable interior and the vast spaces of the exterior universe.” (Michael Shapiro, Language Lore, April 30, 2022).
Jo Carubia, Ph.D. is a writer, educator, and artist. She was also the series editor at Paragon House who conceived of, and brought to publication, Glossary of Semiotics by Vincent Colapietro.
Complete Book of Waiting is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and stillwaterpress.com.