Now that my six year-old, Azul, has incorporated the word “epic” into his vocabulary, I have a totally different view of the utterance.
I always used it in its traditional sense, a long poem of heroic deeds, such as, The Iliad and The Odyssey. That definition gives the word a romantic feel, something to ponder, it takes you on a journey to enjoy.
Webster defines it as:
1) a long narrative poem in elevated style recounting the deeds of a legendary or historical hero
2) a work of art (as a novel or drama) that resembles or suggests an epic
Today, either used alone or paired with “fail,” it has lost its perception of grandeur. No longer is it a beautiful way to experience a legend, but a word that is only defined as “big.”
I know many terms come in and out of fashion and have a circular life cycle; that makes me wonder if Homer was belittled by his peers who said, “Epic? Bahahaha! Dude that totally just means ‘big.’ ”
Although I am not willing to completely give up on the romanticism of the word, currently, anyone using or overusing “epic” just seems as if they have the vocabulary of a first grader, or they’re trying way too hard.
“That was epic!”