Monday, March 14, 2011

Because I am a Language Snob... ;-)

...I thought I would share a little something I looked up. ;-)  (Hopefully you won't get bored with it... there is a point at the end. ;-) ) (Definitions and quotations come from . )   


–adjective Also, ep·i·cal.
1. noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style: Homer's Iliad is an epic poem.
2. resembling or suggesting such poetry: an epic novel on the founding of the country.
3. heroic; majestic; impressively great: the epic events of the war.
4. of unusually great size or extent: a crime wave of epic proportions.
5. an epic poem.
6. epic poetry.
7. any composition resembling an epic.
8. something worthy to form the subject of an epic: The defense of the Alamo is an American epic.
9. ( initial capital letter ) Also called Old Ionic. the Greek dialect represented in the Iliad  and the Odyssey,  apparently Aeolic modified by Ionic.

World English Dictionary

1. a long narrative poem recounting in elevated style the deeds of a legendary hero, esp one originating in oral folk tradition
2. the genre of epic poetry
3. any work of literature, film, etc, having heroic deeds for its subject matter or having other qualities associated with the epic: a Hollywood epic
4. an episode in the lives of men in which heroic deeds are performed or attempted: the epic of Scott's expedition to the South Pole

5. denoting, relating to, or characteristic of an epic or epics
6. of heroic or impressive proportions: an epic voyage

[C16: from Latin epicus,  from Greek epikos,  from epos  speech, word, song]
epic definition

A long narrative poem written in elevated style, in which heroes of great historical or legendary importance perform valorous deeds. The setting is vast in scope, covering great nations, the world, or the universe, and the action is important to the history of a nation or people. The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid are some great epics from world literature, and two great epics in English are Beowulf and Paradise Lost.
Note : Figuratively, any task of great magnitude may be called “epic,” as in an “epic feat” or an “epic undertaking.”

(back to moi)  Okay.  Did you get all that?  Did you notice that not a single one of those definitions said "epic" means "cool" or "fun"?  :-P
Okay.  So don't say you had an epic time at your friend's house last night unless a ten-headed monster came and attacked your party and a dashing man of unknown origins burst in and, after a great battle across the whole town, eventually killed the monster and was crowned king... or mayor...and somebody wrote a long piece of poetry about it. (Or whatever.  Something like that.) (But definitely not playing volleyball and watching a fun movie.) ;-)
Sorry for the ramble. ;-D  I get so tired of hearing people use the word "epic" to mean cool or fun (just as I am even more tired of hearing people say "legit" to mean cool.  Look up the word legit/legitimate on too. ;-) )   "Epic" is such a huge word... it brings to mind a greatness and heroism too big for any other word.  I hate seeing it dragged into the host of other perfectly good words that now simply mean "excellent" or "good".    I know languages change over time, but really, we have enough words that mean "excellent" or "good", so let's enjoy using the other words the way they were meant to be used, okay? ;-)

*language snob bows and steps down from the podium* ;-)

Have a GOOD day, everyone!  Maybe take some time to take a break over coffee and a book and immerse yourself in a timeless epic. ;-)


A Joyful Chaos said...

Finally I found someone who feels like i do about the misuse of the word epic.

Thanks for sharing.

Bethany said...

AMEN, sistah!! :)

Teddy said...

Too funny Mells. =-) Some words that are in "vogue" right now are a little weird... =-P Glad you're posting again dear!

Gabrielle Renee said...

I know what you mean, Melanie!

Michaela said...

haha - but epic is SUCH and epic word! ;) ;) Really...I was against using it for a really long time. For example, I've never said "cool" or "legit." But epic is fun, since it has no meaning at all. ;) I just like saying it.

Anyway, great review - it's, well, EPIC! ^_^

Melanie said...

*tsk tsk* Michaela. ;-) Did you not read the definitions? "Epic" has plenty of meaning! ;-)
But I can understand liking saying it... there are some words that are just fun to say! :-D :-D

Anonymous said...

And I will have an epic time doing it! :D

Anonymous said...

While I couldn't agree more, Melanie, there was a time when folks probably felt the same way about "cool." "Epic" and "legit" have just joined "cool" as slang words.

FWIW, you could have also included "beast" which somehow today is being used as a verb. :-)

Rosebud said...

It's probably a good thing our lives are not epic all the time. :P ;) Fun post, Melanie!

Teddy said...

Nice Alaina. =-)