Seeking injunctive relief from the misuse of “amazing”

CAUSE NO.  _________________________







The Petitioner alleges against the Respondent and states as follows:

  1. That the word “amazing” means “causing a sudden, overwhelming sense of surprise, astonishment, or wonder;” that without all three points of this definition, namely sudden, plus overwhelming, plus surprise/astonishment/wonder, the word amazing cannot apply.
  2. That the Respondent has, in recent years, taken to using the word “amazing” in contexts beyond the word’s originally contemplated meanings:
    1. That although the Respondent may say that their children are amazing, that they routinely fart and belch, and fail to do their homework and receive poor grades, and play too many video games, and text their friends during dinner; indeed, their lives are spent engaged primarily in non-amazing activities.
    2. That the Respondent is known to call church worship services amazing when, in fact, the experiences were merely uplifting or deeply moving. An amazing service would involve God being bodily present, healing leprosy and making the lame walk.
    3. That when the Respondent takes in a sporting event and calls the score, the players, the coach, certain plays, the arena, and even the hot dogs amazing, just as he/she did at the previous sporting event, and the one before that, that such events are therefore common and not amazing.
    4. That the meal the Respondent had at the fine restaurant, or that the Respondent’s mother made at the last major holiday, may have been quite delicious, and may have introduced delightful new flavors to the Respondent’s palate, but remained far from the realm of amazing.
    5. That the Respondent’s last vacation to a distant location may have provided many exciting experiences not available at home. But given that the location has its own problems, such as widespread poverty, confiscatory taxation, a shortage of drinkable water, or a wicked tsumani season, it is inaccurate to call the location amazing.
    6. That when the Respondent, in the execution of his/her duties at his/her place of employment, calls the company’s offered products or services amazing, that this is just marketing puffery intended to mask the problems the Respondent knows to exist in the products or services. Moreover, the rare product that may have initially caused true amazement, such as the iPhone, quickly becomes widely adopted, irreparably harming its ability to amaze.
  3. That Respondent’s overuse and misapplication of the word “amazing” has cheapened the word and rendered it nearly meaningless, causing it severe damage. As such, the word needs the Court’s protection.
  4. Therefore, the Petitioner seeks injunctive relief from the Respondent, requiring them to consider whether synonyms of “amazing” such as “astonishing,” “astounding,” “stupefying,” “awe-inspiring,” or “mind-boggling” could accurately be used instead, and if not, to choose an adjective that accurately describes the event, person, object, or situation.

I affirm under the penalties for perjury that the foregoing representations are true.

Jim Grey


22 responses to “Seeking injunctive relief from the misuse of “amazing””

  1. Dani Avatar

    How timely! NPR host Diane Rehm’s guest today will be talking about his book “You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity”.

    1. Jim Avatar

      And to think I wrote this a month ago and have had it queued up just for this day!

  2. vanilla Avatar

    Laughter in the house! Well-done. The injunction is fervently to be desired.

    1. Jim Avatar

      I just need the right judge to sign it. Where’s William Safire when you need him?

  3. Lone Primate Avatar

    Wow, Jim, that was ama– uhhh, stylistically and thematically impressive! :)

    1. Jim Avatar

      Dancing right on the edge of my ire, there, are we, LP?

  4. Aaron Moman Avatar


    1. Jim Avatar

      You’re just trying to push my buttons, aren’t you.

  5. Scott Palmer Avatar


    Does this mean that your kids don’t get to watch “Those Amazing Animals” :-)

    1. Jim Avatar

      If I had cable, where I’m sure that show is still on somewhere, absolutely not!

      1. Lone Primate Avatar
        Lone Primate

        I suppose this means from now on they’ll have to watch “Those ******* Animals!” :D

  6. hmunro Avatar

    Hilarious, Jim, and right on the money! I plead guilty as charged.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Fortunately, the penalties are not severe.

  7. Convoluted Logic Avatar

    Do the penalties include the mandatory purchase of a thesaurus?

  8. versa kay Avatar

    Now, you have literally amazed me and I do not, I suppose, have to plead guilty.

    1. Jim Avatar

      You may well be outside the jurisdiction of this Court anyway!

  9. Jim's Brother Avatar
    Jim’s Brother

    I’ll be following this case with great interest. It could set a useful legal precedent in the class-action suit I hope to bring to bear on the misuse of “Scrumpdillyicious.”

    1. Jim Avatar

      Should this petition ultimately lead to solid case law, when you file your suit be sure to use the official DQ spelling, “Scrumpdillyishus.”

  10. ryoko861 Avatar

    Well, it IS amazing when said children step away from non-amazing things and do something amazing because we didn’t think they had it in them to do the amazing thing! And yes, they will cease to amaze us with these amazing things that they do when they finally step away from the non-amazing things.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Seven uses of the word. I’m neither amazed nor amused!

  11. Don Carey Avatar

    Perhaps I need therapy……drives me BATTY! For some reason, in the early 21st century, people began using the term to mean “good” or “great” vice astonishing, ironic, or just plain weird-I don’t get it. Sometimes I think it is the ignorant that initially began misusing it, perhaps people just learning English, and then the sheeples begin following suit. At any rate, the lemming-like behavior has further eroded my faith in humanity…

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m happy this old post resonated with you!

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