Whenever I hear the word enormity used to describe how gi-freakin-normous something is, I always willfully misinterpret it to mean an act of extreme evil or extreme wickedness. Now before you start screaming prescriptivist and throwing Kleenexes drenched in the snot of sociolinguistics at me — I’m not being a prescriptivist. Of course people have the right to use enormity that way. It is certainly the trend for that word and it probably will be within my generation that almost everyone forgets its original meaning. I just so like the meaning of extreme wickedness that I want to be able to use it to mean that without being misinterpreted. And a lot of people only know that word to mean gigantic.
So I was listening to a promo video (below) by Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic. Branson opens up with this line:
”Astronauts of the past 45 years have all returned to Earth struggling to convey the enormity of what they have discovered and with their perceptions clearly changed.”
And quite frankly, the sinister music blends with my interpretation of enormity far better. Astronauts have all returned overwhelmed by the vast wickedness they encountered in space. Awesome! I totally wanna go now. Actually, I’ve always wanted to go and probably would go even if I was told I had a 50/50 chance of making it back alive, so enormity just ups the thrill level.