Is it awesome?

So, you like something. You want to signal your approval. Here’s a little test to see if “awesome” is the appropriate word to use.

When you go to say it, can you just say “That is awesome” in a normal, everyday tone of voice? If you can, it’s not awesome. It might be cool, pleasant, interesting, neat, or even groovy, but it’s not awesome.

If it is awesome, you will want to shout “That is AWESOME!” and you will get that feeling in your chest—an eruption of joy and, yes, awe— that you got when you were five years old and someone showed you a magic trick or gave you a kick-ass new toy and you were so excited that you couldn’t sit still. That is what awesome is.