Even Better than Awesome: How to use Superlatives

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    PerfectYears ago when I was in the recruiting or “headhunting” business I had a colleague who used to swear his candidate was “perfect” for the client’s position. When the client raised an objection or two, my colleague would then swear he had another candidate, who was “even more perfect.” Call it sick humor, but the rest of us thought it was pretty funny stuff.

    These days everything is “awesome.” A beautiful sunset, a new haircut, a great cup of latte. Doesn’t matter; it is all awesome. That got me thinking. Aren’t there other words we could use to describe the good things around us? If we could take a closer look at superlatives, maybe we could be more specific in our praise, and freshen up our language at the same time.

    What other words come to mind? Here are some that might fit, depending on what you are talking about, and who you are talking to.

    • Astonishing
    • Amazing
    • Awesome
    • Breathtaking
    • Brilliant
    • Delightful
    • Excellent
    • Extraordinary
    • Fabulous
    • Fantastic
    • Fine
    • Glorious
    • Good
    • Grand
    • Great
    • Incredible
    • Magnificent
    • Marvelous
    • Outstanding
    • Perfect
    • Phenomenal
    • Remarkable
    • Stunning
    • Spectacular
    • Splendid
    • Stellar
    • Super
    • Terrific
    • Tremendous
    • Unbelievable
    • Wonderful

    Next time you want to provide a compliment or remark on the goodness of something, see if you can replace your ordinary superlative with one that is more interesting, suitable, and special to the listener.

    And please, let me know if you have others you would like to add to this list.

    Author Gail Zack Anderson, founder of Applause, Inc. is a Twin Cities-based consultant who provides coaching and workshops for effective presentations, facilitation skills for trainers and subject matter experts, and positive communication skills for everyone. She can be reached at gza@applauseinc.net.

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