OK, I will admit that I have overused the word "awesome" since childhood — so much so that it's a running joke in my family. Well, one person has finally had enough of everything being awesome. Merriam-Webster responded to a viral Neil DeGrasse Tyson's tweet about the word "awesome" and their clapback from Merriam-Webster was pretty, uh, awesome. I actually interviewed Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and host of the documentary Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,a few years ago, and it was, for lack of a better word, awesome. Apparently, Tyson thinks "awesome" is a word that should be used sparingly so its meaning is not cheapened, and he took to Twitter to express his frustration about kids these days.
"In my day, the word “Awesome" was reserved for things like curing Polio and walking on the Moon, not for food or TV shows," he tweeted April 12. While curing polio is awesome, so is avocado toast, Lady Gaga, and peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. Like beauty, awesome is subjective, and is in the eye of the beholder. Merriam-Webster responded to Tyson's awesome tirade with one word. "Neil." And, an awesome amount of twitter users thought their stern clapback was pretty freakin' awesome. According to the definition of the informal use of the word awesome in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it means "terrific, extraordinary." As in I "had an awesome time at the concert." And, these awesome tweets responding to Tyson are pretty extra.