These are some notes I took in response to Ben telling Chauncey that he was, "awfully tired". I started to play a word game. Wittgenstein might think it's funny. Or infuriating.
from an aural perspective:
awful - why is it negative to be full of awe?
awesome - why is it positive to only have some awe?
this apple is awful ; this apple fills me and potentially others with awe. And this is negative.
i am awfully tired; the amount that I am tired fills me and potentially others with awe. And this is negative.
i am awfully nice; the amount that I am nice fills me and others with awe.
being 'awfully nice's connotation is one that implies fault in being so nice as to inspire awe. 'jesus was awfully nice with the fish and the feet and the wine...i mean, come on, right?'
this is perhaps the result of an aural misinterpretation created by connecting 'awful' to negative things in sentences over and over again throughout millennia of spoken language. this may mean that more negative things were proven to inspire more awe than positive things could. i guess positive things inspire some awe (like a dog with shades on a skateboard eating pizza - awesome!) and negative things fill one with awe in today's linguistic landscape (like when that dog rolls into traffic - awful....but then he makes it through to the other side of the road! - awesome). weird.