We use the words we have to describe the life we live. But also, the words we use prescribe the life we live.
For that reason, I don’t say “meh” much.
For the same reason, I’ve lately made it my business to revive the 19th-century expression of awe, “Great Scott!”
I try to say it as often as possible.
But the thing is, in a standard 21st century urban life, “Great Scott” does not often apply.
When a whale breaches and lands on your boat, you exclaim, “Great Scott!”
When Microsoft Outlook quits unexpectedly, “Great Scott” over-blows the matter. In fact, even “Holy Mackerel” is a stretch.
So if you’re determined to say “Great Scott” a lot—well, you have to live more of a “Great Scott” kind of life.
Body-surfing in the Atlantic last weekend off Cape Cod, for instance, I saw some waves looming over me that kind of merited a “Great Scott!”
Riding a motorcycle up Lake Shore Drive in a six inches of water under exploding lightning is “Great Scott” worthy, and I’ve done that too.
Hitting a home run over the left-fielder’s head—which I also managed to do earlier this year—I muttered “Great Scott” to myself, as I rounded third.
If you want to have a Great Scott life, you have to do Great Scott things with Great Scott people. Or the very least, you have to learn about Great Scott situations, like the Titanic, the Halifax explosion, or Oppenheimer.
Do you want a Great Scott kind of life?
Then give yourself something to say “Great Scott” about!