The word "amaze" is another that comes to mind. The dictionary defines it as
I use this word too much. I use it to describe foods, performances, movies, events, even people -- and sometimes those things aren't very amazing. I exaggerate the description of the whatever I've experienced or seen to fit the definition of amaze; I use it for the wrong things. They're still great things, and far from average, but they don't astonish or overwhelm me.
Some things, though, really do amaze me. Some people amaze me (for bad and for good reasons). For example, I was amazed by the amount of dishes that were in the sink when I got home, so amazed that I stopped dead in the doorway and almost cried. It sounds like a stupid thing to cry over, but because the other person in the family who helps me try to keep up with the house gone for the week, it now has all fallen to me. I truly was overwhelmed and shocked.
So that's an example of a bad thing that amazed me. Here's a good example:
Last night at a friend's bridal shower, I stayed after most people had left to help clean up (and to make a general nuisance of myself because I'm pretty sure I ended up more in the way than being productive). Everything was close to finished, and the hostess's husband brought pizza home for his family. I was the only one left there who wasn't related to someone in the room, so I felt awkward about taking any food. When my friend offered some to me, I said no because I wasn't family.
What she said has stuck with me all day long. She looked at me and said, "Well, you're my family."
That really and truly amazed me. It still does. I was so suprised, and it made me feel so...just good inside.
Words are important. The casual use of words seems almost cheap to me. If we only ever use words to express what they really mean, we will have more meaning -- so much more.