The LEGO Movie told us that “Everything is awesome,” but according to me everything is “cool.” I say cool a lot. It’s a verbal tic. I say it without thinking about it. I’m sure I often say it without even realizing it. Saying cool this much is not cool.
Frequently “cool” is my verbal version of a Facebook “like.” It is a way to quickly acknowledge something in a positive manner. For me, cool is typically more of a spoken head nod than a declaration of any uniquely identified aspect of coolness.
Sometimes when I say “cool” I really mean “okay.” You say you want pizza for lunch, and I’m likely to say “that’s cool.” I’m not saying pizza exemplifies cool; I’m saying I’ll eat it.
Sometimes I say “cool” to mean “I’ve got it.” If my boss explains an assignment to me I may respond, “cool.” It may be a boring assignment that is the opposite of cool, but I’m saying I understand what I need to do and confirming I will do it.
Of course, sometimes when I say “cool” I do mean “cool!” For instance, you may tell me some really wonderful news, and I reply “That’s so cool!”
Very rarely I even say “cool” to actually describe the temperature of something.
I realize that constantly saying cool isn’t the most intelligent behavior for an educated woman in her forties. It is a bad habit, but I’m not sure how to go about breaking it. Mentally kicking myself after I realize I’ve said cool again is clearly not working.
I have a good vocabulary. I know a lot of other words and phrases I could say instead of “cool” in various contexts: wonderful, great, okay, got it, yes, sounds good, interesting. But breaking the habit of saying everything is cool will take a lot of practice.
Is there a word you say too much? Are you doing anything to try to break yourself of the habit?
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You find Kim Z. Dale trying to be cool on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.