The narrator is a college-student, and here's a characteristically sharp passage:
"'Awesome,' I said, in that peculiar way, I knew, our generation had of finding that everything either 'sucked' or was 'awesome.' We used awesome the way the British used brilliant; for anything at all. Perhaps, as with the British, it was a kind of antidepressant: inflated rhetoric to keep the sorry truth at bay."
Yesterday, we went to Parents' Night at the middle school. Isabel's 7th grade Language Arts teacher -- a peppy, veteran taskmaster who cowed even me -- told us about her list of "garbage" words that she absolutely does not want to see in her students' work. These include "got," "stuff," and "said."
"I don't want kids using words like this," she lectured.
"This is bullshit," I cried.
"No it's not!" she ejaculated.
"Yes it is," shouted my husband.
That didn't really happen, of course. We're very meek, grateful parents. But I hate that rule. "Awesome" should be avoided; "said" is essential.