Reclaiming The Awful Awesome

I’m from the generation of the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles.  Yes, at this stage they were heroes rather than ninjas (pre-2003 ninjas were too violent which presumably means ninjas are now soft), but they still liked pizza, didn’t like Shredder and they made the word “awesome” just a little bit more popular (and “cowabunga” a little more real!).

I understand that current overuse of the word awesome actually started earlier than the time when Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael got their three pronged hands on it.  The word began as something that inspired awe, which is fairly obvious to most.  However, that thing of awe was at a far end of the scale, being something truly amazing due to its brilliance or beauty.

Modern use of the word applies it to anything we like.  The Turtle’s pizza could be awesome.  Actually, that’s a bad example because pizza is awesome.  Let’s say salad instead, because salad definitely isn’t awesome in any sense of the word.  We now obviously have very low expectations or our vocabulary is getting a lot smaller!

However, the word actually started to change meaning a lot earlier still, some 300 years prior to mid-19th century when people first started to get exasperated by its overuse.  Back in the 16th century, the awe was produced by something that filled you with severe fear or dread.  In so doing, it actually meant the same thing as the word awful whose meaning has also been somewhat weakened in modern times.

I guess that this means the military doctrine of “shock and awe” which, according to Wikipedia, is “based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight” is slightly closer to the true meaning than I ever really realised.

I’m not sure the Turtles thought about it that way though.

Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga.

I can’t stop this feeling
Deep inside on me.
Girl, you just don’t realise
What you do to me.

When you hold me
In your arms so tight,
You let me know
Everything’s all right.

I’m hooked on a feeling,
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me.

Lips as sweet as candy,
Its taste is on my mind.
Girl, you got me thirsty
For another cup o’ wine.

Got a bug from you girl,
But I don’t need no cure.
I’ll just stay a victim
If I can for sure.

All the good love,
When we’re all alone
Keep it up girl.
Yeah, you turn me on.

I’m hooked on a feeling,
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me.

All the good love,
When we’re all alone
Keep it up girl.
Yeah, you turn me on.

I’m hooked on a feeling,
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me.

I’m hooked on a feeling,
And I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me.

I said I’m hooked on a feeling,
And I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me.
I’m hooked on a feeling.

Hooked On A Feeling by Blue Suede (as featured on Guardians Of The Galaxy Awesome Mix No. 1)

 

Comments 1

  1. Brendon Ward

    I don’t recall the TMNT’s being referred to as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. It was always Ninja. At least it’s always been ninja in New Zealand. From reading your post I don’t know if you’re in/from the UK or USA – but sounds like censorship…

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