Grammar Rant 1/10/19: “Awe” versus “Aww”
In this edition of Grammar Rant, I give you “awe” versus “aww.” (Hat tip to my friend Jeanie Lewis for mentioning her disdain for this frequent faux pas.)
What’s wrong with this meme, I ask you? Ignore the complete lack of punctuation, of course, and you’ll see that the very first word is grammatically incorrect.
The word “awe” is a noun defined by dictionary.com as “an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.” Examples include being in awe of God, powerful political figures, the miracle that is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, etc.
The word “aww,” on the other hand, is an interjection used to express protest, disbelief, disgust, or commiseration. More often these days, it is used to express sentimental approval over a bucketful of baby sloths.
Some of us may be old enough to remember these School House Rock videos. For you, welcome back to the awe of your childhood. To those of you who never had the joy, aww, aren’t you adorable!