The world needs an illustrated grammar lesson concerning aw and awe.
Aw is a noise
Aw is the word for a noise you make when you see something that’s freaking adorable, like a baby hedgehog or Betty White. Some people write “aww.” Because it’s a sound, if the photo is especially freaking adorable, you can get away with writing “awwwwwww,” although doing so is comparable to using an excessive amount of exclamations!!!!!!!
Awe is often misused in writing to express a noise people make that sounds like this: aww. I’m not sure why people write awe for this noise. I’m not sure why it annoys me so much, either, but I have to actively suppress my urge to correct educated people who should know better.
Awe is a noun and a verb. As a noun, it’s the feeling of wonderment or respect after seeing something spectacular or mind-blowing: “Star Wars produced awe among the audience.” Variation: “Star Wars is awesome.” As a verb, it means to cause someone to be in awe: “Star Wars left me in awe.”
Awe is not a sound. Even if what you see is so adorable it produces a feeling of wonderment, the sound you make is still aw or aww.
I hope you think this post is awe-inspiring. If you’re not convinced, check out The Grammarist.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love: a new contemporary fiction about love, lust, and family secrets.
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.
“Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River, and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters