I am disturbed by the increased use of a certain adjective I see and hear in conversations, social media posts, and even news articles recently. Perhaps there hasn't been an increase, but I am noticing it more frequently. Students are using it in conversations; websites use it to express how much they love something; celebrities repeat it in interviews to appear cool; grandmotherly comediennes blurt it out for laughs; authors and screenwriters use it to represent reality.

I am not completely sure why the use of the word bothers me so much, but part of it is that I was taught my entire life to avoid using crude words. It's just a word many friends argue, and I agree; but the choice of words you use in your daily life reflect your character, level of education, and respect for others. The frequent use of this word makes me think the speaker or writer has a limited vocabulary and needs to find more creative means of expression. It's also a very angry word.

Perhaps the reason this word used so frequently is that, in it's various forms, can be used as an adjective, verb, noun, and adverb. It's quite a versatile word, but when used too frequently, it becomes rather annoying. My English teachers, after all, always taught me to avoid overusing the same words in my writing.

When I mentioned my distaste for the overuse of the word to a friend recently, he told me to get with the times. The word, he said, is an accurate reflection of our modern times. What he doesn't realize, however, is this word is quite old; it has been used as far back as the fifteenth century. Even though the word is old, it hasn't been a part of common speech until recently. It's still crude or unrefined, and I would like to encourage anyone who may come across this blog to use more expressive words in your daily exchanges of dialogue. Here are some ideas:

I think I hear this word as an adjective the most, so may you consider the following sentences as adequate replacements. The fabulous police pulled me over for driving five miles over the speed limit; the first-rate waiter forgot to bring us our dessert; the formidable teacher gave me an F on the paper; the friendly thug got away with my wallet and car keys. Sure, the replacement adjective may change the tone of our messages, but aren't we too angry of a society, anyway?

What about these adjective replacements? I foolishly stayed up all night to study for the test; I frankly love science; she furiously punched me right in the jaw. Okay, so maybe these examples don't have quite the same impact, but there are adjectives that actually start with different letters of the alphabet.

I have a dream that one day I will become independently wealthy, and I will have an abundance of money as a result of my writing. If and when that dream is fulfilled, I plan on encouraging others to refine and upgrade their choice of words. In the meantime, I hope you all have a famously fantastic and fabulous holiday season.

"Kill them with kindness." I have always loved this saying since the first moment I heard it. My friend was crying to his mom about some mean boys in his class. He had tried standing up to the bullies, and he even hurled insults back at them, but neither of those attempts seemed to stop the boys from harassing him. In an attempt to help her son diffuse his problem, my friend's mother told him to "kill them with kindness."

Perhaps I didn't fully understand the meaning of this quote when I first heard it spoken, but I liked the images that went through my mind. I pictured the bullies falling to the ground, incapable of causing my friend any more harm simply because he was kind to them. After getting discouraged over all of the anger and hate I see spread through electronic media, the questions still nag at me. Can that really happen? Can we really disarm angry mobs through benevolence? I think we can, but it will take some work.

This blog is an attempt to kill the negative, divisive tone that spreads too quickly across social media, news outlets, talk radio, and other outlets. Please join me in celebrating the best in people. Let's kill the anger.


    I am a writer, an artist, an athlete, a brother. I have the crazy dream of making my part of the world a better place. I like to do kind things in secret and observe the joy I bring into other people's lives. I love to share my views, but I will do whatever it takes to avoid the spotlight. 

    I can't stand seeing others being treated unjustly. I hate the direction our government is taking this country. Since when did taking care of those who can't take care of themselves become evil? Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity, and I think we all appreciate when someone else has offered to lift us up.

    I am your neighbor, a student, a teacher, your brother, and your son. I am Mystery McMann.


    November 2013