Posts Tagged ‘word abuse’

GilgameshMy 10-year-old brought home a word this year the way other kids bring home the flu. It debilitated everything it touched and spread quickly from house to house. It was epic. No, I mean literally. The word was epic.

In the same way that the British dumbed down the word brilliant and Americans removed the jaw-dropping power of awesome, a new generation of definition abusers has successfully transformed a word that once represented a series of legendary adventures across time and space into a qualifier for the most mundane things in life. According to my 10-year-old, even a dish of spaghetti can be epic. I should not be surprised. The Odyssey was an epic once. Now it’s a minivan.

Maybe the endless hyperbole of Hollywood movie teasers led people to believe not so much that mediocre movies are epic, but that epic means mediocre. Or maybe it is just that epic in its brevity is easier to text to your friends than the right word. Whatever the reason, I’m not giving in. We already have some pretty good words that mean pretty good. And if something is better than pretty good, we have words for that too.

Why can’t we just bring back groovy?

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