Q&ACategory: General QuestionsWhat's the difference among shocking, astounding and overwhelming? How to use these words properly?
Gia Asked 2 years

Is it appropriate to use the phrase”Global shocking release” on a billboard regarding a product launch? “Shocking” sounds weird to me.

1 Answers
Paul Staff answered 2 years

Great question. 
“Shocking” is often used when something is very surprising. “It’s shocking how quickly that chimp can climb a tree!” or, “I’m shocked that he would say something like that!” This means you just cannot believe someone would say what they said, it was shocking!
“Astounding” speaks more to being greatly impressed about something. “Her athletic ability is astounding!” This sentence is saying the speaker cannot believe how athletic the person is. They are “Astounded by her talent.”
“Overwhelming” means immense or massive. “He overwhelmed his opponent.” Think of a game of football where one team is much better than the other. The team who is far more skilled or superior will “overwhelm” the other team.
“Overwhelm” can also speak to an emotional response. “I am overwhelmed with stress.” This sentence is saying that a person has so much stress that they can hardly handle it. They are “overwhelmed.”
Now, to your question of “Is it appropriate to use the phrase “Global shocking release.”” This doesn’t really work. Instead of saying “Global Shocking…” it might be more effective to say “Shocking global release.” I think of a new or unheard of product that is now being released to the world. It is so new and so exciting it will “shock” the public. This type of phrase is often used in magazines about celebrities as well. There could be a “Shocking global release” revealing an embarrassing picture, or something of that nature. 

cassiecassie replied 2 years ago

Hi Paul Ur answer with examples give me a very clear understanding of those words. On the other hand,I can feel that all the staff in cloudEnglish really care what they do,in chinese we say “用use心heart “it means I put my heart in doing something ,do u have similiar expression as this word in English ? And the word astounding remind me of astonishing , they can of the same I guess

Gia replied 2 years ago

Paul, thanks a lot for the detailed explanation. “Shocking” makes me think of something bad or unpleasant. Can i use “shocking release” to describe a great scientific research result which haven’t been done before and once announced it will change the scientific consensus on certain subject? I’m not sure if i made myself clear. Thank you very much in advance.

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