Concerning Life as It Is Supposed to Be

Really Cool Grace

A casting call has been issued for replacement vocabulary for all the Christian hymns dependent upon ‘amazing’ for their power. We’re talking some biggies here. “And Can It Be” ponders God’s “amazing” love, as does “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”. And of course, there is (or was?) “Amazing Grace”.

All of them need to be fixed.

According to the arbiters at Lake Superior State University (home of the appropriately named ‘Lakers’) “Amazing” is one of the words which should be banished from use, along with “Baby Bump”, “Occupy”, “Man Cave”, and “Ginormous”. LSSU receives nominations for its annual banished word list throughout the year, and this year the greatest number of nominations mentioned “Amazing”.

Say the judges,

Many nominators mentioned over-use on television when they sent their entries, mentioning “reality” TV, Martha Stewart and Anderson Cooper. It seemed to bother people everywhere, as nominations were sent from around the US and Canada and some from overseas, including Israel, England and Scotland. A Facebook page – “Overuse of the Word Amazing” – threatened to change its title to “Occupy LSSU” if ‘amazing’ escaped banishment this year…

Pretty intense.

So what are we to do? Send Wesly, Watts, Newton, and Co. back to the drawing board, I guess.

Awesome grace, how sweet the sound…

Love so mind-blowing, so divine…

Stupefying love, how can it be.

Hmmm. This presents a potentially ginormous problem.


As a footnote, let me praise the folks at LSSU. I am generally in total agreement with their judgment. Last year’s list included “epic”, “fail”, “man-up”, “viral”, and my personal dis-favorite, “the American people”.


Theological Soundtrack


The Bullpen Gospels


  1. It would be an epic fail if the American people were to make the ginormous mistake of banishing the word “amazing.” What we need to banish is simply its mindless overuse. If you continue to advocate for Really Cool Grace, you run the risk that the idea will go viral, in which case your readers might be forced to start an Occupy Somber & Dull site. It’s high time for you to retreat to your man cave, man up, and come out singing Amazing Grace at the top of your lungs. 🙂

    • You made my day. This makes us co-conspirators (1993). Together we can git-er-done (2006). For the American People (2011) of course.

  2. Adrianna

    I agree wholeheartedly (if that’s not on the banned list) with Carolyn. She just said it far more cleverly than I could have.
    I say I’m not buyin’ it – if that’s not also a banned phrase – and I think the list makers did not mean we may never use amazing. If we may not say amazing about God’s grace and love, something is dreadfully wrong. As for me, I plan to continue using the word in that way.

  3. Delaney

    Ha! I enjoyed this.

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