Part of Neil deGrasse Tyson's shtick, as an intellectual who's expected to impart wisdom about the cosmos and its infinite wonders, is to offer observations and anecdotes to his giddy fans. Tyson regularly does this on Twitter, where his musings are usually lapped up like the gospel of a scientific demigod.
However, this went a bridge too far on Thursday evening, when Tyson decided to condemn younger generations for flippantly using the word "awesome." If you're to believe the astrophysicist, we dilute the word's meaning by sheer overuse. So trying to fulfill the role of elderly killjoy desperate to trample on everyone's fun and questionable use of a superlative, Tyson, presumably clutching a glass of warm milk, tweeted:
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The tweet, which seems to promote the use of the word "awesome" only when discussing 20th century scientific and medical milestones, was skewered by just about everyone upon its arrival. Tyson's wet blanket of a tweet inspired such wrath that Merriam-Webster dictionary had to serve him something of a rebuttal.
Other users swarmed Tyson's mentions, but the tenor of the situation is best demonstrated by a missive sent by former US Rep. John Dingell, who didn't mince words:
Interestingly, Tyson's war on "awesome" is an old chestnut for the celebrity scientist. After the tweet, it didn't take long for a few sleuths to start digging around Tyson's past tweets, and what they found was quite familiar.
Tyson also appears to, uh, be guilty of violating his own firmly held values on occasion:
Thank you Neil, for these scathing insights.
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